Something freaky is going on…Part II

So how was your love fest?

Here are some of my experiences:

The most obvious effect of practicing Loving Kindness is that it feels really good. Once you get over the initial weird factor and are really starting to generate compassion, you melt into the feeling and you’re high. High on love. There, I said it.

When I first started offering Loving Kindness in my traditional nighttime meditation, I found that people began to engage with me more during the day. One of the most notable occurrences was with the man who works at the dry cleaner at the end of my block. Most days when I walk by with my dogs, we wave to each other, maybe smile or mouth “hi” through the window, and that’s about the extent of it. One particular night I found myself focusing on him for a long time in my meditation. The next day, as we approached the dry cleaner window on our walk, I could see him recognize us and jump up and run to the front door. Waiting the doorway, he struck up what ended up being about a 10 minute conversation. He was suddenly interested in Pepsi and Buddha’s names, how long we’ve been in the neighborhood, where we came from…I had spoken to him once before, but our daily routine of a smile and wave was pretty well set. This exchange felt both really out of the ordinary, but also very natural and almost expected. Weird.

Another string of freaky events took place at the airport a couple months ago. Tragedy of all tragedies, my blackberry died while I was in the cab on the way to the airport and my books were in the trunk, leaving me nothing to do but meditate. I offered compassion to the cabbie and to people in surrounding cars for the 30 minute trip. At the airport, I noticed that people were staring at me; I even ducked into the restroom to see if my shirt was see-through or if I had something in my teeth. In the long security line, people on both sides of me struck up random conversation. Mind you, this was early Monday morning and the place was packed with business travelers—these friendly reactions were far from typical. At the security check the woman in front of me let me go ahead of her for no obvious reason. The whole way to my gate, people were randomly making eye contact and smiling. O’hare in the twilight zone.

The ultimate freaky experience happened on a recent trip to New York. As I walked through busy Midtown Manhattan during the morning rush hour, I offered compassion to as many people as I could. Because it was so crowded and people were moving so quickly, I alternated, “May you be well”, and “I love you” to each person I could visually pin down. As usual, I felt the crowded sidewalks working with me rather than against me. Fast walkers juggling coffee and cell phones made eye contact and smiled. People stepped to the side to allow me and my roller-board suitcase to use the ramp at the curb.

I arrived at the office building I had visited many times before and thought about the receptionist I was about to face. I had quite a few experiences with her and let me just say, she was not the friendliest person I had ever met. My past experiences with her had been short—she rarely looked up from what she was doing, appeared annoyed when I asked her questions. She just generally seemed unfriendly; for some reason, that intimidated me.

Feeling the love high, I reminded myself that her attitude had nothing to with me and she had absolutely no influence over my day. In the elevator ride up to the office, I pictured her and sent her love and compassion. I wished her well, told her she rocked, and told myself that I rocked for vowing to stand strong in my own energy.

Alright, now I know this is probably much more exciting to me than it is to you, but what happened when I walked into that office is nothing short of a miracle. Before I even had the opportunity to look up toward the receptionist’s desk, I heard a loud and friendly, “Good Morning!” This woman who had always been rude and acted like I was bothering her was genuinely nice. Happy to see me, almost. She welcomed me back and without my having to ask, directed me to where my meeting was taking place. She complimented my coat and told me the color looked fabulous on me. Seriously. I would have expected anyone in New York City that morning to pay me a compliment before I would have expected it from her. Unbelievable.

So why are these things happening? I don’t fully understand the science behind it, if there is science behind it. But I have a few observations.

First, it seems obvious that this practice makes me feel great, which makes me smile and make more eye contact with people than usual. So they reciprocate. I’m sure that’s part of it.

Thinking about it in terms of pure energy, I feel different when I practice Loving Kindness, almost as if my energy is vibrating at a higher frequency. Maybe they are attracted to my higher energy? I asked my energy healer friend about this and she believes that’s absolutely true. Plus, she believes that my higher energy could be directly affecting their energy and raising their vibration. I watched a documentary recently in which a shaman was explaining how people in big cities have more compacted auras than people in rural areas, where there is more room for the aura to radiate. I keep imagining my aura physically melding with the auras of people on the street in Manhattan that day.

I may never know the process underneath these effects. I get that’s it’s just the scientist part of me trying to figure it out, to satisfy my left brain intellect. The part of me that is really active when I practice Loving Kindness just knows it works and doesn’t need to know how. I’m working on letting go of the how and just enjoying the ride.

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