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Lions Roar : September 2017
Metta for Me How psychotherapist RADHULE WEININGER customizes the traditional loving-kindness verses to help her clients heal. May I hold myself gently and with care. May I regard myself with understanding and compassion. Christina settled her left hand on her chest, close to her heart. After a long exhalation, she rested her right hand on top of her left. I knew that Christina had been wounded in significant ways, yet she had buried many unexpressed feel- ings deep inside. Worry that she would be overwhelmed by her fears and a pervasive sense of shame had prevented Christina from seeking the help she needed until now. May I be free from shame. May I extend compassion toward this bruised heart of mine. May I forgive you as I forgive myself. May all those in this world who suffer from humiliation and dismay be free. Sitting in the big brown leather chair in my office, Christina told me about her early life during the civil war in Argentina. Hidden in the trunk of a car, five-year-old Christina miraculously survived while militia murdered her mother. Growing up, Christina was treated harshly by her stepmother, who only reluctantly accepted the girl into her father’s house. She lived a Cinderella-like existence until she was twenty-one and she had the chance to move to America. As Christina told me her wrenching his- tory, I sensed that a practice in self-com- passion would help her contain and work with her profound suffering. My work with Christina began when her cardiologist sent her to me. He thought she would benefit from seeing a psychotherapist and mindfulness medita- tion teacher who worked with compas- sion practices. Christina had recently experienced a scary attack of cardiac arrhythmia. While she was driving on the PHOTOBYISTOCK.COM/BLOODSTONE HOT OFF THE PRESS Pema and the Pema Chödrön Foundation support: THE BUDDHIST MONASTIC TRADITION Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. THE BOOK INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that serve them, around the world, free of charge. pemachodronfoundation.org All proceeds from the PCF bookstore support Pema’s work. Free Shipping in the USA LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2017 73