How to practice loving kindness meditations – a simple introduction
“wish pure love and soft peace upon the ones who’ve been unkind to you and keep moving forward – this will free you both”
Sometimes our hearts get closed off, especially when we want to protect ourselves and avoid getting hurt.
But a greater pain comes from keeping our loved ones away and feeling like an island apart from the world.
What is loving kindness meditation?
Loving kindness meditations reconnect you; they build bridges between you and all others.
One example of a loving kindness practice can go like this, sending warm and loving thoughts to yourself and others:
- First, you wish it to yourself. “May I be happy. May I be strong. May I be peaceful. May I be loved”.
- Next, you imagine someone you love. “May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved”.
- Then, imagine someone you feel neutral about. “May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved”.
- Now a harder one: think of someone you’ve had some difficulties with, or even dislike. “May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved”.
- And finally, you imagine all living beings. “May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved”.
Open your heart and remember we’re not so different. When you strip away the appearances, jobs, places we live… we all mostly want the same things.
Love, health, freedom, security and happiness. Meaning and purpose.
Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’re alone in the world, or that you can’t open your heart and love to include others. Be kind; love.
- You can find a guided loving kindness meditation here by Tara Brach, which I really like. Headspace also offers some loving kindness meditations.