Heartscape (Lovingkindness) by Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of my favourite mindfulness meditations.
There was a time in my life when I practised Heartscape daily. It was during this period that I wrote “It Is What It Is”, which is one of the tracks on my new album which came out last week. [[free download by the way!!!!!]]
Well, it’s been a couple of years, but about a week ago, I was brought back to my passion for mindfulness and started practising Heartscape daily again. So every day, I’ve been practising this meditation, sometimes twice a day, morning and night. And I can confirm that this is having an effect on me. And the effect is this: I am dreaming about Simon Cowell.
So last night, I dreamt I was at a party. It was a birthday party for a young woman, maybe around 19. There were about a dozen of us at the party, and we were all sitting around an open plan kitchen/living space. And Simon Cowell arrived. He was ushered in, seated in amongst everyone, and suddenly everybody was focused on him. And they were asking him question after question about himself and his life.
I thought he was quite a good sport about it. He was being polite, and answering questions, but clearly wasn’t keen on having all the attention in the room focused on him. And this went on for quite awhile, and I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the situation. And then one man, sitting cross legged on the floor, said, “So Simon … I have a nephew who plays the saxophone …”
And then he proceeded to ask if Simon would listen to his nephew play the sax and see how talented he was and maybe he could help his nephew out. And I just lost totally lost it. I started telling off everybody in the room . I went, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? SIMON HAS COME HERE AS A GUEST, NOT TO WORK. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF EVERY TIME YOU WENT SOMEWHERE PEOPLE CONSTANTLY TRIED TO GET YOU TO DO WORK FOR THEM? LIKE YOU … YOU’RE A NURSE … WHAT IF EVERY TIME YOU WENT TO A HOUSE PARTY SOMEONE WOULD SAY, WELL I HAVE AN INFIRM AUNT WHO IS BEDRIDDEN, SHE’S UPSTAIRS, COULD YOU JUST HELP HER OUT A LITTLE BIT WHILE YOU’RE HERE? THIS IS NOT OKAY. JUST LEAVE THE POOR MAN ALONE. HAVE A LITTLE EMPATHY.”
And the dream went a bit weird from there … well, weirder … I left the party, and so did the birthday girl, and so did Simon Cowell. And at some point I ended up kissing Simon?! And in a surreal dream sort of way, some time passed, and there was a whole string of events that involved Simon Cowell trying to woo me by sending me flowers etc, because he was so grateful for being treated like a human being and not like some means to an end.
So, yeah. If you try out Heartscape, beware. You never know what will crop up in your dreams.
Anyway, I woke up and immediately … well, once the “what the hell was that” passed … I immediately felt deep compassion for all people who feel really weighed down, or pressured by all the demands on them, especially demands they perceive others making of them.
Because I know it can be really overwhelming when you feel you need to give and give … so this is for all the mums, and the dads, and the spouses and lovers and sisters and brothers and sons and daughters, friends and colleagues, everyone who is dealing with so much in their lives just dealing with their day-to-day, and also doing their best to be in loving relationship those near to them. It isn’t easy. But as we meet those around us with love, we find not only joy, but we find ourselves. I believe that.