As we move into month 7 of the pandemic, with school starting, stress levels continue to rise, tempers are flaring and everyone seems to be at the end of their rope. We could all use some loving kindness. This powerful mindfulness is the perfect antidote for the anxiety and tension so prevalent in society, as it allows us to tap into our capacity for love, gratitude and compassion toward ourselves and others.
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Loving Kindness Meditation
As we move into month 7 of the pandemic, with school starting, stress levels continue to rise, tempers are flaring and everyone seems to be at the end of their ropes. We could all use some loving kindness. This powerful mindfulness is the perfect antidote for the anxiety and tension so prevalent in society, as it allows us to tap into our capacity for love, gratitude and compassion toward ourselves and others.
In this simple meditation, you Choose one of these loving kindness phrases that resonate with you: may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, May I live with ease, or you can create one of your own.
Start by focusing the phrase on yourself then move on to a person or people you love, a person you have difficulty with and then expand to everyone. As with any meditation, if your mind drifts away don’t worry. Just bring yourself back to your phrase without judgement.
Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take a few long, slow deep breaths. With each exhalation imagine all of the tension leaving your body. As you continue breathing allow your phrase to arise and repeat it to yourself. May I be happy, may I be safe, may I be healthy, may may I be at live with ease. Every human being has the capability for deep love, compassion gratitude and friendliness with practice they can flow more freely benefiting ourselves and the world around us.
Repeat the phrase in your mind and notice if these feelings of loving kindness arise within you, continue to repeat, May I be happy, may I be safe, may I be healthy, may I be at live with ease.
Now bring to mind a person or people you love deeply, imagine they are sitting in the room with you, sense their presence repeat, May you live with ease. Send the powerful feelings of loving kindness to them as you continue to repeat, may you be happy, safe, healthy, live with ease.
Now bring to mind a person who is struggling right now, let them come into your awareness. Imagine their presence and send them loving kindness. may you be happy, safe, healthy, live with ease.
If it’s available to you try shift your mind to a person with whom you have difficulty. If Initially choose someone with whom you have just a little tension or unease. Imagine this person is doing the best they can in the circumstances and they want to do better. We all make mistakes at times and create pain or suffering. Extending loving kindness does not mean approving of those mistakes or condoning behavior that caused us pain. Rather it means seeing those mistakes clearly and still seeing the other’s humanity and need for connection and loving kindness
Expand your awareness to all of humanity, without execption. May everyone be happy, safe, healthy and live with ease. Just as we do, all beings have the desire to be happy, to be safe, to be healthy, to live with ease. We are all in this together. May we all receive loving kindness
Slowly start to bring yourself back. Keeping the feeling of loving kindness in your mind and body Move your focus back to your breath, breathing in through the nose and out through your mouth. Now take a few more long, slow, deep breaths. And when you're ready, open your eyes and return your focus to the room.
Practicing a loving kindness meditation on a regular basis has many benefits from increasing levels of empathy and quieting self criticism to reducing intensity of migraines and slowing the aging process.