A Chat with Carol Grimes on Loving-Kindness

I had the opportunity to chat with one of our favorite teachers, Carol Grimes, this week, to talk with her about her upcoming series on Loving Kindness - her passion for the practice.  I'm happy to share it with you here!

EB: What got you started with Loving Kindness practices?  Where did it all begin for you?

CG: I was introduced to loving-kindness practice in a beginning meditation series and was further exposed when I began to take part in 5-10 day silent meditation retreats. Then I signed up for retreats that were specifically focused on loving-kindness meditation. From there I started to transform the more formal meditation in which I’d been trained, and integrate the practices into less formal daily life and activities. The creativity and integration into my “normal life” was when the practice of loving-kindness really began to take hold and make a difference.

EB: How have you seen the practices make a difference in your own life?

CG: There has been a tremendous transformation that has occurred over a long and steady period of time in which loving-kindness practice has re-trained my brain and my system on several different levels. I first noticed that it significantly reduced the voice of the inner-critic and increased an inner sense of kindness, acceptance, and self-compassion. It also helped to recalibrate my nervous system to feel an overall reduction of stress and “fight or flight.” I also felt more connected with my own heart, with other people, animals, nature, as well as with Prana itself (life force). It was a powerful tool in my journey to heal from chronic pain. Perhaps most significantly, at a time in my life when I was practically paralyzed with intense fear and anxiety, loving-kindness practice helped me learn to overcome fear. As a human being, that is a very huge and unforgettable thing to experience. 

EB: I know you've been teaching these practices for many years.  What have you seen in your students?

CG: Students who have taken my “Loving-Kindness Practice Series” have been very curious about the formal aspects of practice, but then with encouragement have slowly, steadily felt more confident with the