The change of seasons always reminds me of the fluidity of time, and how what I think of as static is just changing slowly.  Even when the season changes are subtle, they’re a good reminder that almost everything does change, the world around us, circumstances, and our relationships with others.  As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it feels like it’s time to turn inside a little more, delve more into meditation, slow down and notice what’s around me a little more.  The season change prompts to revisit my relationships and feelings about those around me, and to try to soften and smooth out some of those edges, to view others with a slightly softer, warmer light.

I’ve practiced this with the lovingkindness meditation, in which you actively cultivate feelings of warmth and love, and direct those feelings to others.  It’s easy to start with someone who has supported or provided for you, such as a parent or teacher, feel their love for you, and send them love in return.  Then, thing of someone you love deeply, perhaps a child or life partner, and direct your love to them.  Then, you can move on to someone you’re neutral about, and then perhaps someone you have negative feelings about, this for me is undoubtedly the hardest.  I find myself sort of superficially sending them good thoughts without really changing my view on them specifically.  I think the teaching for me here is that everyone offers something I can love them for, that I can focus on that and through that focus, any hurt feelings or dislike I have of other attributes begins to soften.

A helpful description of and practices for lovingkindness:

Peace and love to you!