Loving-Kindness Meditation

The Garden in your Heart

A guided meditation by Ven. Ayya Khema

In order to start, we put the attention on the breath for just a few moments.

We値l imagine that we have a beautiful garden of flowers growing in our hearts with exquisite blooms, lovely fragrance, growing and being cared for through our love and compassion and we can enjoy the garden and all the lovely flowers in it, and feel at ease, a sense of wellbeing within the flower garden of our hearts.

Now we値l cut a beautiful bouquet of flowers, the loveliest ones we can find, and hand it to the person sitting next to us expressing our love and care through this gift.

We値l think of our parents whether they池e still alive or not and make the most beautiful bouquet out of the flowers in our hearts and hand that to them with our love and gratitude and devotion and see the joy that it brings to them.

Now we値l think of those people who are nearest and dearest to us whom we might live with and for each of them we will make a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the garden in our heart, nourished by our love in all different colors with lovely fragrance and give each of them the gift which comes from our heart and we don稚 expect anything in return.

Now we値l think of all our good friends, relatives, acquaintances, anyone who comes to mind. And for each of them we値l make a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the garden in our heart, nourished by our love, cared for by compassion, and we give this gift to each one of them showing them that we care.

We値l think of those people whom we meet in our daily lives. People we work with, neighbors, students, teachers, patients, salespeople, postmen, anyone who comes to mind who is part of our lives and whom we meet in our everyday activities, and we realize that the more flowers we give away the more soon grow in our hearts. And we can make a beautiful bouquet for each of these people, the loveliest blooms we can find, and we can give them the gift which comes straight from our hearts. Show them the care and concern and our togetherness.

Now we値l think of a difficult person in our lives, or if we don稚 have one, then one that we feel quite indifferent towards, whom we neither dislike nor like, or the difficult one that we reject and resist, or rejects us, and again we cut a beautiful bouquet of flowers out of the garden of our heart and hand it to that person with love and respect and care and see the joy that it produces and the relief we feel.

We値l open our heart as wide as possible and extend the flower garden to its largest possible degree and then we値l allow people to enter and enjoy the beautiful flowers and each one takes one home with him.

First we allow all those people who are present here to come into the flower garden of our heart which is nourished by love, looked after by care and concern, and each one that comes takes one of the beautiful blooms and a new one grows in its place. And we see the joy that that brings. Then we allow other people that are here in the monastery to come and have that beautiful experience, feel loved and given the gift of a flower from our heart. And we think of our home town and the people we know and the people we have seen there and the people we imagine that are there, or assume that are there, and we let them all come to the garden of our heart. And we see the joy that that brings to them, and each one may have the gift of one of the beautiful blooms.

We might think of all the people that we have met anywhere at any time, seen anywhere at any time, or heard about, and let them all enter and take away with them a beautiful flower from the garden of our hearts.

And as we open our heart evermore and the garden becomes larger and larger we can let all the living beings that we can think of enter, be joyful, and given the gift of a flower out of the garden and getting the feeling of our togetherness.

And we put the attention back on ourselves as we see that the flower garden in our heart is unimpaired, there are just as many blooms there as there were to start with. Giving them away has certainly not diminished them and their fragrance and beauty bring joy to our hearts and we feel a sense of wellbeing, of being surrounded by love.

And now we anchor that flower garden in our hearts so that we have access to it at any time and never lose it. May people everywhere become aware of the beautiful flowers in their own hearts.

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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 10 Apr 06