This short video shows two approaches caring for people you love when they are suffering. A loving-kindness meditation and a six-year-old’s mission to protect her grandmother.
It’s difficult when you want to express your care for a friend who is going through a painful experience. It might not be appropriate or even possible to do anything that will help. One practice helps to calm my anxiety and sense of inadequacy, and gives me the illusion of “doing” something. It’s a short, gentle version of the well-known loving-kindness meditation. In this particular case, my friend appreciates the good thoughts and feelings (and prayers) from her network at a certain time of day.
This is a private part of my life, but I thought it might be helpful if you find yourself in a similar situation. This short video ends with a poem by Elsie, my granddaughter. When she was six years old, she expressed those very same feelings, wanting to protect me, her grandmother, from sorrow. That’s loving-kindness incarnate. I find that poem, Alternative Therapy, very moving as well as funny.
Even a small child may feel loving kindness to others
From an early age, we want to protect others from sadness and pain. It’s those caring feelings that matter, regardless of the practical ways we express them.
PS After cataract surgery my eyes are finally, finally feeling better. If only Elsie had been here to put a cold mermaid on those sore eyes! They would have healed more quickly, for sure.
- My favourite meditation book: The 5-Minute Meditator by Eric Harrison
- Two poems for when you break or are haunted
- “How To Be Old”: a book for curious grown-ups