By far one of my favorite meditations is Loving Kindness. This for many reasons, but mostly because I enjoy extending my sphere of influence and knowing that my positive thoughts can positively affect the lives of others is a wonderful thing. I think one of the biggest problems in our world today is that so many people are focused on the negative, what they don't want, what's the worst case scenario, what if.... and it is unhealthy for those individuals and everyone they come into contact with directly and indirectly.
I have enjoyed working towards a witnessing mind and cultivating a subtle mind as well. This, in my opinion, goes hand in hand with the Loving Kindness by way of acknowledging what you allow to take up space in your thoughts. If we actively seek out the positive and work to reframe or become proactive about the negative it makes so much difference in everything.
Integration of these practices does not have to be a time consuming thing. Loving Kindness is a practice that I can do everywhere, and the good thing is each new place I practice is an opportunity to extend my positivity to a whole new group of people. The bus ride to work, the line at the grocery store, walking on the treadmill - anywhere and you I have a group to send my energy to available. A witnessing mind is simply becoming aware of what my thoughts are throughout the day, starting in small increments. Over time I've become focused on all my thoughts as they come and go and eventually learn to hold on to the ones that benefit me most.
This journey I am on has been a fabulous one - there have been times when I have been thrilled with the strides I am taking and times when I have been greatly disappointed with a setback. But I mentioned earlier and remind myself often that it is the progress, not perfection, that matters most. I have also begun to realize that the more I grow the more tests I am challenged with; if we are not tested how can we measure growth?