Taoism furnished the basis for aesthetic ideals, zen made them practical.

It is said that "developing ourselves through loving kindness meditation will help us overcome anger, resentment and hurt. It helps us to empathize more, and to be more considerate, kind, and forgiving. We can also learn to appreciate others more. We learn to be more patient. We also cultivate Metta towards ourselves, so that we experience less internal conflict, and learn to appreciate ourselves more." (source)

"When we practice this meditation, we start with ourselves. That is, we aim to feel more appreciative of ourselves first of all: more integrated and less prone to internal conflicts, before we attempt to develop positive feelings toward anyone else. The basic psychological principle that Buddhists recognize here is that if we can't feel good about ourselves, then we are less likely to be able to feel good about other people." (source)

Let me begin by saying that I was first introduced to meditation in the late 1980's from my Feldenkrais teacher. You see, I suffered a severe back injury that left me on disability for half a decade. This opened for me an opportunity to explore the mind body connection and how it was that I might be aiding or perpetuating my cycle of stress and pain. Awareness through movement (ATM) created an exploration into self responsibility. After reading books by the likes of authors such as Bernie Seigal and Claire Weekes, I began to see how my mind may aid to my cycle of stress and pain. I began to look upon my pain as my friend and teacher. The Feldenkrais teacher introduced me to a set of meditation cassettes produced by her Taoist husband. I began to learn the Inner Smile Meditation.

Things opened quickly. I began to experience new insights. I was happier in spite of my pain. My sense of personal and communal intuition was uncanny. I understood myself and others in a new way. I explored and participated in acupuncture. This also was an immense help. It brought a strong reflex and sensation back to my left leg which had been lifeless since my injury. For the first time in many years, I began to live a life of great expectations.

It was a new beginning.


Shubhajit said…
A great inspiring anecdote!