Tag Archives: podcasts

mindfulness that led to amazing dreams?

For my mindfulness today, I listened to Guided Loving-kindness Meditation from Sharon Salzberg from the mindful podcast, linked to in this article.

It’s a 45 minute long podcast that starts with an initial discussion of loving-kindness, which is also known as metta in Buddhism (and during this podcast). This is followed by an extended loving-kindness meditation. The article helpfully has the whole podcast pretty much transcribed, so if you’ve read it you can skip to 10:00 for the actual guided practice.

I listened to the podcast lying down in my bed during the mid-afternoon, having just written up my blog post for yesterday’s practice. Going into the practice I felt alert and excited to try this kind of extended loving-kindness practice. I have a little experience already with some loving-kindness meditations from courses I’ve attended, but they haven’t usually lasted more than ten minutes.

Initially, I was directed to repeat loving-kindness statements that described what I wished for myself. I began with a range but ended up settling on two that spoke to me most:

May I have physical health.

May I have mental happiness.

Next, Salzberg suggested aiming the statements towards a ‘benefactor’ – someone who had helped me. Immediately a lady came to mind who has made a huge difference in my life recently, acting with so much kindness and helping me to really get into volunteering work. I spent the next period of silence directing my loving-kindness thoughts at her.

The next focus was on someone who a is good friend. I thought of one of my housemates and directed my kindness towards her.

By the next suggestion, I was feeling quite sleepy and I can’t remember well what happened for either the suggestion to send my loving-kindness towards someone neutral or someone I have a difficulty with. As I struggle to know who I chose to focus on, I feel like I may have fallen asleep. I do remember hearing the bell signalling the end of the practice but that may have simply woken me up.

Immediately after the practice I felt so relaxed and calm that I fell asleep (again!). While I slept, I had a number of moving dreams, centring around music and feeling accepted.

In one of them, three musicians I love were all singing and when the fourth, one of my favourites, joined in, the songs all came together into a beautiful piece of living music. It felt really amazing.

On awaking I felt full of love and wonder. I don’t usually read into my dreams, but these dreams felt so joyful that part of me wonders if they were catalysed by the loving-kindness meditation I did immediately before falling asleep.

Either way, I really enjoyed my experience of today’s practice and the following happy dreams. I definitely feel refreshed and ready to use my evening!

Have any of you ever felt like your dreams were influenced by your mindfulness practice?

Photo by jill111 on Pixabay


working with noise and loving-kindness

My mindfulness today was done by listening to podcasts in town. I was in the relatively busy marketplace, with cars going past and people chatting, so I decided to do some work on mindfulness of noise.

I listened to a podcast called How to Meditate with Noise: A 3-Minute Practice for Anywhere by mindful (linked to in this article). I listened to it with one earphone in and one ear free to act as a microphone, picking up the noises I could hear (an ambulance screaming into the distance, chatting people, a motorbike growling past) and focusing on simply listening and not trying to identify them.

The sun felt so warm on my back while I was sitting in the marketplace, and it reminded me of the sensation I get from loving-kindness meditations, so I decided to listen to one of those too.

I listened to Loving-Kindness Meditation from Sharon Salzberg – The Mindful Practice Podcast from mindful (on Soundcloud here, transcript here). It was more instructive, describing the steps that make up a loving-kindness meditation rather than slowly guiding me through one. I listened to the podcast and then followed the instructions, silently repeating thoughts that described my kind wishes towards myself as I walked on to my next commitment.

May I be happy.

May I be safe.

May I share joy with others.

May I have physical health.

May I feel calm.

I didn’t manage to attempt the visualisation section, but I will leave that for another time. I did find that doing the loving kindness meditation on the way to my next activity left me with a little more energy and ability to cope with a more testing person – indeed I have decided to use this person as someone to wish good things for when I next do the loving-kindness meditation described in the book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari. More on that to come soon!

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