Written by Zach Grossfeld
Often, I find it difficult to bring myself back into the moment. It can be a struggle to zoom out from your own problems and gain perspective on this messy planet. Recently, I had a conversation with drummer Gavin Chops (Chelsea Cutler) on Loving Kindness, the practice of cultivating a love for yourself and others. Here are my thoughts on what Gavin had to say:
On a recent podcast for my other show, Auxoro, I spoke with artist, producer, and entrepreneur, Gavin Chops.
As a man of many hats, he drums on tour for Chelsea Cutler, manages a group of artists, creates music, and DJ’s around NYC.
During our conversation, Gavin spoke on the power of loving-kindness. For those not familiar with Metta, the practice of loving-kindness, it is a Buddhist meditation that focuses on cultivating a love for yourself and others.
The practice is often accompanied by mantras like:
May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I be free from suffering.
The focus of these mantras moved between personal well-being to family members, friends, and even strangers. Many prominent meditation teachers will encourage you to target people for whom you harbor negative or hostile feelings.
On the podcast, Gavin told me:
Through doing this meditation, I’ve been able to cultivate more love for myself which I can then bring to other people...I wish myself to be full of love, I wish myself to be well, I wish myself to be peaceful, and I wish myself to be happy. I cultivate that inside of myself because I want to be able to give that kind of love to the audience. I’ll close my eyes and wish the audience well to create that feedback loop.
I have practiced loving-kindness without consistency.
After hearing Gavin and seeing his eyes light up about the power of loving-kindness, I have decided to implement the practice on a more steady basis.
Hopefully, loving-kindness will not only cultivate more self-love but bring a better version of myself into the lives of people I care about the most.
How often do we get caught up in our performances and struggles only to disregard the hardships of those we touch?
Everyone on the street has a story about which you know nothing.
A reality that too many times, I forget.
Even during podcasts, my mind runs wild with thoughts like:
How do I sound?
Does this make me seem smart?
Why do I feel awkward?
How do I look, on-camera?
I don’t focus enough on the guest and how they may be feeling in the moment.
Maybe the guest has never been a podcast before.
Perhaps they are more nervous than I am.
Maybe I should stop to get them some water because they’ve been coughing for the past four minutes (this has happened).
Simple acts like loving-kindness can cultivate self-love, dim the spotlight, get you back into the moment, decrease anxiety, and shift the focus towards serving others.
No matter what product or service you provide, helping others should always be close to the forefront of the decision making the process.
As I embark on a journey of more loving kindness, I encourage you to also dive more deeply into the practice.
Here are some resources to learn more about loving-kindness: