Practicing Goodwill

Published by Annie Barrett: 
November 22, 2021

For keeping calm and carrying on during the holiday season, the teachings of the Brahma Viharas, from the yoga and Buddhist traditions, offer a list of four virtues for cultivating goodwill and peace. These teachings invite us to focus on the intrinsic web of unity that binds us together so that our common humanity is active in our awareness.

I invite you to practice the Brahma Viharas with me. Enjoy these practices on your own, or join me for a yoga class or coaching session to focus on practicing goodwill.

The Brahma Viharas are:

Maitri – friendliness and loving-kindness, the wish that all sentient beings be happy.  
How to practice this: Take care of your own happiness first. To express goodwill toward others, you have to start with yourself. Be friendly and kind to yourself first and then extend that kindness to others.

Karuna – compassion, the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering.
How to practice this: Cultivate the attitude of interacting with others on the basis of your shared humanity. Compassion is to see someone eye to eye even when it’s uncomfortable. Be willing to lean into conversations and practice deep listening.

Mudhita – empathetic joy, the wholesome attitude of rejoicing in the happiness and virtues of others.
How to practice this: Emotions are contagious. Brain studies are proving this with the study of mirror neurons. Practice taking in the good, focusing on the positive in yourself and others, and surround yourself with positive people.

Upeksha – over-looking, equanimity, literally “over-looking”, to look high rather than low, to focus on the highest in ourselves and in others, to stay broad-minded and in a state of equanimity with regard to ourselves and others.
How to practice this: Watch your internal and external dialogue. Avoid nagging, especially with the people you live with. Instead, practice seeing these people in their highest, and helping them succeed.  

Ways you can work with me:

Join me for a yoga class.

Receive a holistic wellness coaching session.

Invite me to bring wellness to your workplace.

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