Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mexican experience of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians believe is God. In the Orthodox Christian tradition she is called the Mother of God. From the Vedic (Yogic) perspective Our Lady of Guadalupe would be a manifestation of the Divine Mother, the feminine dimension of the Source of Life or God. There are not many gods in the yogic world but many expressions of the One God, the One Ultimate Reality. Our Lady of Guadalupe is that manifestation of the One God, according to the Yoga Tradition.
So, all you yogis and yoginis, Happy Feast of the Divine Mother!
The Divine Mother (and surely this is true of the Mexican Catholics who believe in Our Lady of Guadalupe) is a loving and protecting presence in the world. She wants to nurture and care for her creations, all of her “children.”
In light of this feast day in the Catholic Christian tradition and my urging last week to change our way of thinking and the words/ideas that we say to ourselves, one ancient yogi’s tradition has developed a practice called “metta-meditation.” “Metta” means “beyond,” so a “metta-meditation” is a practice that moves beyond meditation. It actually uses visualization and prayerful expressions.
The practice is as follows:
Begin by establishing a still, stable seated position with head, neck and trunk in a straight line.
Establish smooth, continuous, even, deep and quiet diaphragmatic breathing, letting the body begin to relax and eventually bringing your focus to the movement of the breath in your nostrils.
Then bring your awareness to your heart, so that your mind becomes one-pointed on your heart.You have established a meditative awareness.
Then say to yourself “May I be happy, healthy and safe,” as you continue to direct your gaze to your heart.
Then visualizing a person whom you love, silently say “May you be happy, healthy, and safe.”
Then visualizing your neighborhood or community, silently say “May you be happy, healthy and safe.”
Continue saying this prayer as you visualize each of the following—a person whom you have seen but don’t know, a person of a different race or culture, a person with whom you have a conflict, a group of people with whom you tend to dislike, all the people who are of service to others, and finally to the whole world. “May you be happy, healthy, and safe.”
This practice will develop compassion in our hearts for the entire human race.It will also help us move away from fear-producing thought patterns. Practicing this metta-meditation will change our world and truly prepare us for this wonderful season of light, peace and love.
Happy metta-meditation! Alleluia!