Didn’t You Wish As a Child?
February 25, 2019
By Dr. Manijeh Motaghy- Co-Founder of Perfectly Here, Founder of Mindful Business Institute and member of International Mindfulness Teachers Association.
Are you one of those people who wish as a child things were different? As you may know, I’m Persian, born in Iran. I often wonder, why is it that historically, the people of Iran did not formally pick up the teachings that the Buddha laid out for us so generously and compassionately. Like many ancient cultures and nations, Iranians already come with many of the heart qualities that we try to cultivate to gain peace and happiness. Loving/kindness, compassion, specially generosity and gratitude are of main characteristics of the Persian culture. My grandmother certainly practiced and instilled those qualities in me. Meditation though was foreign to us. We prayed but it wasn’t Mindfulness at all. I remember thinking through all of the prayer sessions. At best, I was talking to God, asking for something I wanted.
My Mindfulness Beginnings:
When I first started formally meditating, it was extremely hard for me. Additionally, I had learned about Loving Kindness meditation, which I ignored for a long time. I didn’t think I needed to practice Loving/Kindness. I was kind enough, loving enough. And if I became anymore loving, I would not be able to handle it. “That it was for those other people.” So, I ignored it. Until one day when I sat in meditation, for some reason, I decided to send loving/kindness to all those who had harmed me throughout my life. It came organically. I sat, closed my eyes and prepared 3 phrases, “May you be safe and protected. May you be healthy and strong. May you be free from worry, anxiety, fear and stress.” I brought up a person who I had felt hurt by when I was 11 and said the phrases 3 times for her. Then another who had bothered me when I was 6, another when I was 18, when I was 26, 45, down to 16 and to 40 and 10 years old and on and on. They came so fast that I could not finish all the phrases and my ex-husband, God bless him, came in between all of these people. So, he really got the most of it….lol..
During this process, each person brought up the harm I had felt and my stomach felt yaky. However, my mind was so focused that it wouldn’t let go of sending these well wishes to those who had harmed me. My dog, Oreo, was also sitting by me meditating. After 45 minutes, I opened my eyes, looked at Oreo and said, “Fooh, that was strange, Oreo.” Then got up, went and washed my hands. The next morning, I told about this to a good friend of mine, Sousan Amiri, who is a therapist, on our hike. She stopped me and asked, “Wait, do you always wash your hands after meditation?” No, I said. And so insightfully, she pointed out that I had washed my hands off these people. That was so beautiful and felt real.
Soon after, as I periodically checked in with myself, I realized that I felt so much lighter. So much less victim feelings. My self-worth, self confidence and self-love began to flourish.
The Amazing Results:
This was really an amazing development for me. From there on, I picked up Loving/Kindness meditation as my main practice and slowly realized how much kinder and more compassionate I can be without adding any burden to my life. I became kind in a much deeper and real way. Basically, without hidden needs or agenda. This is something that takes continual work and the more aware I become the cleaner my acts of kindness become. Slowly, I experienced more and more free of my past, childhood negative experiences and adulthood issues.
So often I hear people say, “I wish I had known how to meditate as a child.” Or ” I wish my parents knew how to be peaceful.” Or, “We have to bring these practices to the youth.” Well, wishing is not enough.
We know that practicing to clam the mind and the heart happy works. So, why not give it a try. Give it our best shot, take our practice to another level? Imagine how wonderful it would be for our youth to have tools of Mindfulness and Loving/Kindness to deal with the constant materialistic brain-washing. Why not give them this gift? Why just ignore? Our teachers and staff work hard to offer Mindfulness courses for children even for parents. Your part is to inform others and or give this gift to anyone you can including to yourself.
For more expert blogs and Dr. Motaghy’s writings go to: https://perfectlyhere.org/blog/