This week I share a ‘hugging meditation” that comes from the wise sage Thich Nhat Hanh, in “How to Fight.” I also include how to properly hug. Yes, there is indeed a lovely way to do this!
“Hugging meditation is something to practice with people you love and trust, particularly if you have been upset with each other. To begin, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and visualize yourself and your beloved three hundred years from now. Then, open your arms and hug your loved one. If we can see the impermanent nature of our self and our loved one, we can realize how precious every moment is that we have together. We won’t want to waste our time together by being angry and hurting each other.
When you hug someone, first practice breathing in and breathing out to bring to life your insight of impermanence. “Breathing in, I know that life is precious in this moment. Breathing out, I cherish this moment of life.” You smile at the person in front of you, expressing your desire to hold him or her in your arms.
This is a practice and a ritual. When you bring your body and mind together to produce your total presence, full of life, it is a ritual. You hold the other person in your arms gently, and breathe in and out three times, cherishing the other person’s presence. Then you separate and smile to each other again – a smile of gratitude and love.”
**I feel it important to share some wisdom I have learned from a wonderful organization I have taken workshops with: HAI – The Human Awareness Institute. In a Level One workshop we practiced hugging. We learned that you always ask permission first: “Would you like to share a hug?” Then we went around the room saying ‘yes or no’ as we asked another, or were asked to share a hug; honouring how we felt with no shame or judgment. It is freeing to honour the choice for both yourself the possible recipient of the hug.
Here is an example:
Ask permission, look in their eyes first, then embrace until you feel it time to let go. Breathe deeply and love them with your mind body and soul; be present and honour them with your authentic presence.
Wellness tip: Ask Permission Before You Hug Someone
I am a big hugger however if you have been around me I will always ask when I first meet you. (and ongoing)
Asking for permission: Would you like to share a hug? Yes or no?
(As children we were often told to hug our uncles, aunts and strangers – our ‘no’ was not honoured)
Ask permission, look in their eyes embrace until you feel it time to let go -breathe deeply and love them with your mind body and soul – be present; honour them with your authentic presence. (no back patting or what we call: burping the baby)
Let go and ‘thank you’ – look into their eyes.