Showing posts with label Mindfulness Exercises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mindfulness Exercises. Show all posts

Loving Kindness Meditation

  • Begin by silently saying to yourself, "May I be joyful, calm, and free of suffering."
  • Simply repeat this statement to yourself, wanting or wanting it to come true. 
  • If you notice that your mind is particularly "stuck" in a negative cycle, you can immediately confront it.
  • For instance, you may say, 
    • "May I be joyful, may I be tranquil...," 
    • "May I learn to let go," 
    • "May I accept whatever happens," 
    • "May I have the fortitude to confront my anxieties," 
    • or "May I be forgiving." 

You'll probably discover, as with the other strategies, that your mind wanders after a while, and you'll need to return your focus to the sentences frequently (remarkably, the mind seems to be able to "speak" these sentences silently even when we're not paying attention to the process). 

The objective here, too, is to be forgiving and approach it all like puppy training. 

You can attempt moving on to others once you've settled into one of these phrases and channeled caring intentions toward yourself (the meditation can also be done in the reverse order, starting with another person and then moving to yourself). 

It's always simplest to start with a benefactor—someone you can readily love and care for. A teacher or other inspirational figure, alive or not, such as Jesus, the Buddha, or the Dalai Lama, might be a friend, family member, or other loved one. 

  1. Close your eyes and envision being with the other person. 
  2. Feel their presence. 
  3. Then start saying things like, "May you be happy, may you be calm, may you be free of sorrow," or anything like. 
  4. Again, the mind is prone to stray, and you'll have to carefully draw it back to the image you've picked. 
  5. After you've spent some time focusing on someone who makes you feel loving-kindness, you can move on to someone else who is significant to you. Call to mind persons who matter one by one. 
  6. After a while, you'll be able to conjure up visions of tiny groupings, such as immediate relatives or close friends. 
  7. Continue to repeat the sentences, channeling caring intentions toward them, while keeping them in mind. In this manner, the meditation continues, stretching outward to include more and more individuals. 
  8. Return to pictures of individuals who more easily inspire sentiments of compassion or loving-kindness if you discover your sentiments of compassion or loving-kindness have dried up. 

Expanding the circle, you might envision all of your family and friends gathered, followed by your workplace, clients, neighbors, or any other group you belong to. 

We soon spread the same good thoughts to larger and larger communities, until we've covered our entire town, city, nation, and, eventually, the entire world. 

This activity can be extended to include all living things. 

It finally settles on the wording,

“May all creatures be joyful, may all beings be tranquil, may all beings be free of suffering”

What did you find out about yourself? 

For everyone of us, loving-kindness meditation brings up quite distinct experiences. 

You'll probably have different sensations each time you do it, just like with other disciplines. 

Take a few minutes right now to scribble down what you noticed at each part of the exercise, as if you were recounting the experience to a friend. 

  • Concentration and mindfulness meditation can both benefit from loving-kindness meditation. 
  • It's all too tempting to be brutally judgmental of our wandering thoughts when practicing focus. 
  • When our minds wander, loving-kindness meditation can help us increase our ability to be nice to ourselves. 

Similarly, while practicing mindfulness meditation and seeing all of the noble and not-so-noble contents that arise in consciousness, lovingkindness meditation assists us in greeting all of them as welcome visitors. 

Lovingkindness meditation can be included into a concentration and/or mindfulness meditation session, or it can be done in its own right.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation here.