Ever since Tuesday I have been unaccountably happy. Maybe it’s because I’ve been getting out regularly or because I’ve getting a lot more long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish (and a lot less omega-6) or because of the 10,000 IU of vitamin D I take every day. They each are supposed to counteract depression.
My greater happiness has become a virtuous circle. Because I’m happier, I listen to my favorite music much more. When I’m home, iTunes is on almost all the time. When I’ve driving, I listen to my iPod connected to my SUV’s speakers.
Being happier, I meditate more, which makes me happier still. Months ago I bought Shinzen Young’s recording of his “Five Classic Meditations: Mantra, Vipassana, Karma Yoga, Loving Kindness, Kabbalah.” He teaches Vipassana meditation, the path that I have been following this year. But with my present good cheer I naturally gravitated this week to his teaching of Loving-Kindness or Metta meditation. As Shinzen describes it, a way to start is to envision myself smiling not only with my mouth and face but also with my whole body and smiling at everyone I see. That may bring a little happiness to them, and it certainly brings a lot of it to me.
Years ago I discovered that meditation and walking or hiking work well together. Today I discovered that meditation pairs just as well with snowshoeing. [Read more →]