Loving Kindness Meditation
Come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
1. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Keep your back and head up straight, feet firmly planted on the floor, and hands resting gently in your lap.
2. Once you are comfortable, take your attention to your breath. Take a couple of deep breaths into your abdomen and stay focused on your breathing for two minutes.
3. Now take your attention to your heart.
4. Place your hand on your heart and say, ‘Love…love…love…, may my heart be filled with love.’ Repeat this gently and softly to yourself. Connect to the words and what they mean to you. As you repeat them, imagine who you might say this to. Let an image of that person emerge.
5. Allow yourself to feel the warmth and love, and notice where you connect to it in your body. Experience yourself being caring, loving and tender. Allow yourself to feel the healing and soothing qualities of your feelings. Let it wash over you and gently repeat to yourself with clear intent: * May I be well, healthy and strong * May I be happy * May I feel safe and secure * May I abide in peace * May I feel loved and cared for.
6. Now slowly and gently bring to mind someone who is significant in your life, someone very important to you, someone you care for. Embrace them with your love and kindness, see them taking in your warmth. Visualize them smiling and happy. Now repeat the same lines you told yourself: * May you be well, healthy and strong * May you be happy * May you feel safe and secure * May you abide in peace * May you feel loved and cared for. Take a deep breath, let these feelings wash over you and become aware of what you are experiencing.
7. Now bring another person who is equally significant into your awareness and repeat the same lines.
8. Now do this process with an acquaintance – preferably someone you barely know.
9. Move on to someone who triggered your anger either today or in the recent past.
10. Now do this with a person by whom you have felt hurt, or someone you are anxious about meeting in the near future.
11. Take another deep breath, do this a few times and then begin to radiate your love, tenderness and warmth to the people in your life. Take your attention to people in your neighbourhood and then in your town/ city, to everyone in your area, and country, to everyone in the whole wide world. At this point, you can expand your attention as far as you desire, to include the living world and the wonderful universe we live in.
12. Finally, take a deep breath in and out slowly while bringing your attention back to yourself. Allow whatever you are feeling to fill your whole being, notice how peaceful and relaxed you are feeling. Breathing in peacefully, breathing out peacefully, be at peace with yourself and with the world. In your own time, and when you are ready, open your eyes and make a few notes in your journal. I would suggest you do this meditation at least every other day for a few weeks. If you are feeling angry with someone and are not able to shift your anger towards them, this meditation can often do the job.
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