According to the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society loving kindness meditation is a method for developing compassion. Compassion for self, for others, and for the world. There are no conditions, its an inclusive love that is not measured but is deserving of everyone, even if you don't think so.
It is known as a metta prayer which is wishing good will and intentions upon yourself and others. Often we self-criticize or self-loathe creating an unhealthy picture of who we are. Loving kindness meditation helps us accept who we are as we are.
If meditation isn't really your thing and you want more factual information about how something like this is beneficial. Please check out the "18 Science-Backed Reasons to Try Loving Kindness Meditation" by Emma Seppala. You will find various research explaining increased health benefits, better social emotional regulation, and increased brain activation.
1. Get in a comfortable position, relax your body and close your eyes
2. For a few minutes breath deeply focusing on your breath moving in and out letting go of any other preoccupations
3. Recite these phrases about your well being internally or out loud to yourself (you can identify phrases that work for you).
May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be free from inner and outer harm
May I be healthy and whole in body and mind
May I be happy and at ease
4. Listen and internalize the meaning of the words, think of the kindness you have shown to others. Picture yourself being loved. Feel free to recite the words multiple times.
5. Next think of someone in your life that you care for or love. Someone you have a relationship with and recite these words.
May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be free from inner and outer harm
May you be healthy and whole in body and mind
May you be happy and at ease
6. Allow your images and feelings for the person to come forth and be free as you imagine these words to support the individual. See loving kindness in them.
7. At this time you can refocus to your breath or choose another individual to repeat steps 5 and 6 before ending your meditation.
Tips For Practice
It's important to set aside a time to practice the meditation every day. Start with a short amount of time like 2 minutes and create a timer on your phone. Sometimes it can be difficult to say or imagine ourselves with loving kindness. However it is important that you say these words to yourself even if you do not believe them. Think of the intentions behind them. Once your comfortable with the meditation you can focus on those individuals whom you may not be getting along with.
If you need some guidance check out this short youtube video below which leads you through a loving kindness meditation.
Spiritual practices are essential to our ongoing walk of faith. If you have a spiritual practice that's important for you please share it with us. Visit our contact us page and let us know.
This week take a few minutes to do this loving kindness meditation.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.