The purpose of this loving kindness meditation is to grow love and compassion in the garden of our hearts so that we can sprinkle seeds of kindness into the world. When what we do is intentionally done from a place of joy and kindness, our actions sweeten everything they touch.
“When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also develop inner happiness and peace.” – Dalai Lama
In order for the world to evolve into a kinder, more loving place, we must learn how to be compassionate in our daily lives. We must begin this kind revolution one thought, one intention, one spoken word, one good deed, one person at a time.
We’re born with the capacity to lift another person, not only through our generous deeds, but with a look or a gentle touch, with an attitude or an expression of joy.
This loving kindness meditation is one way we can practice being more loving, and therefore more happy, inspired, and fulfilled human beings.When we practice loving kindness and compassion we are the first ones to profit. – Rumi Click To Tweet
We’re the first ones to profit for we cannot give flowers without, too, smelling their perfume. We can’t hug someone without also enjoying the benefits of a warm embrace. When we consciously direct well-wishes toward other people, we dissolve hate and melt stress that would otherwise live in our own hearts.
There is no true helping someone else without too helping ourselves.
Even when our attitude goes sour, it’s within our capacity to arouse positive feelings to sweeten it. Also known as metta, loving kindness meditation is the simple practice of harboring selfless and altruistic love in ourselves and directing that positive energy towards others.
Loving kindness meditation forges a connection to our intention of joy, health, and harmony–within ourselves and for others. It can be used as a pattern interrupt, diffusing the harmful effects of stress and facing us in a new direction with a fresh perspective.
Research demonstrates the incredible impact that loving kindness meditation can have on our lives: it can leave us better able to ward off depression; makes us more satisfied with life; makes us feel more connected to others (even total strangers); and increases our experiences of positive emotions.“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.” – George Elliston Click To Tweet
The practice shared below is inspired by davidji, internationally recognized stress-management expert and author. Place aside any judgment and open up to the possibility that, just maybe, this practice could help you lead a happier and more fulfilled life, inside and out.
A Loving Kindness Meditation to Spread Peace
1. Sit comfortably and at ease. Place your hand on your heart, wherever you feel your heart is. Close your eyes and breathe easily, feeling or imagining the breath moving through the area of your heart.
2. Speak the mantra: “Peace, harmony, laughter, love.” This is your wish for yourself, and ultimately for all beings. Speak it, and then whisper it, and then repeat it silently.
3. Inhale the words, “peace, harmony, laughter, love.” Breathe it in from the universe and harbor the words inside your heart. You are a vessel.
4. Breathe out the words, “peace, harmony, laughter, love.” Breathe it out to everyone you love, your family and your friends.
5. Inhale the mantra. Release it out to anyone you have any interaction with–teachers or students, vendors or clients, employees or coworkers, people you pass on the street, and so on.
6. You are filling your heart and emptying it back out. Sink into this warmhearted feeling.
7. Feel your heart fill with unconditional love and let it flow back out unconditionally, with no thought attached, to those with whom you have a grievance. Just be a channel for the love through you and into the world. If any opposing feelings arise, these are signs that your heart is softening, revealing what’s held there. Keep breathing, visualizing the breath carrying compassion through you.
8. Inhale your mantra and radiate it out to all sentient beings on the planet.
9. Take a long, deep, slow breath in and fill every cell in your body with peace, harmony, laughter, love, and compassion.
10. When it feels comfortable, return to regular breathing. Remember that everyone has breath, and everyone has a heart. Let the barriers that would separate you from everyone else fade, even just a little.
11. Harness the good energy from your practice and take it into the rest of your day, into the world around you, into the streets and workplace, into your home, into your interactions with others, and into every mindful breath.
- Are you willing to notice negative patterns without beating yourself up?
- Are you willing to interrupt negativity with a positive practice?
- How can you infuse more loving kindness into the world around you today?
Please share your own loving thoughts, helpful insights, positive practices, and any experiences with me in the comments.
Share this loving kindness meditation with someone you care about.
You can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love in the garden of your heart. The seeds you plant matter.