It seems these days, in our high-tech, low-touch society the art of a "proper" hug has been lost. More often than not, people see/feel themselves as so separate from others...so disconnected. When they hug, if they hug at all, it is just a cold, almost societally imposed way of greeting each other.
Rather, there can be such a healing force that is passed from loving, caring human touch. It is after all, a transfer of energy from one living being to another...almost an acknowledgment that "I see you"...(to steal a line from Avatar). That is... to see beyond our differences, our separateness and through this "touch" we acknowledge in the other, that at our core, it is from love that we all have come and it is to love that we all shall return.
I recently learned that within the Buddhist faith/tradition there is a practice called "Hug Meditation". When one hugs another, the hug is sustained for a period of 3 full inhales and exhales. During that time, you hold the person close...close enough that you can feel the other persons heartbeat as they inhale and exhale.
When I was told about this...it almost moved me to tears..."how beautiful" I thought! It was also explained that often this can be off-putting to the receiving party if they're not used to it...and they will tend to almost immediately pull away. Rather than immediately pulling away as well, the suggestion is to gently tap them a few times on the back as you hug them...letting them know they are safe.
Admittedly I had never been a great hugger before I learned about this...always keeping them short with almost as little contact as possible.
A few years back, I had the great good fortune to attend a workshop where I had the opportunity to practice this "art" over and over with lots and lots of people, all of whom were complete and total strangers....it was profoundly transformative for me!
Today's Challenge: Try to experience at least 1 (if not more) Hug Meditation...it can be with a loved one, but perhaps take the leap and give it away to someone you are less familiar with. I look forward to hearing about your experience.
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