Meditation - Loving Kindness For Beginners
I'd like to share with you all a meditation that I learned in my virtual group therapy course that I began during the height of the pandemic back in March. I participated in one on one therapy and in addition to that, this was also a course that I initially hesitated being part of (I don't know why or what I was afraid of.....) and I'm SO HAPPY I did participate in this course, because I truly learned so many helpful mental health techniques.
Meditation - Loving Kindness For Beginners is a meditation that I do daily. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps it will become part of your life as well!
Allow yourself to settle into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. If you like, putting a hand over your heart or another location that is soothing as a reminder to bring not only awareness, but loving awareness, to our experience and to ourselves.
Now, bringing to mind a person or other living being who naturally makes you smile. This could be a child, your grandmother, your cat or dog - whomever naturally brings happiness to your heart. Perhaps it's a bird outside your window. Letting yourself feel what it's like to be in that being's presence. Allowing yourself to enjoy the good company.
Now, recognizing how this being wishes to be happy and free from suffering, just like you and every other living being. Repeating softly and gently, feeling the importance of your words:
May you be safe.
May you be peaceful.
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
When you notice that your mind has wandered, returning to the words and the image of the loved one you have in mind. Savoring any warm feelings that may arise. Taking your time.
Now, adding yourself to your circle of goodwill. Putting your hand over your heart and feeling the warmth and gentle pressure of your hand (for just a moment or for the rest of the meditation).
May you and I (we) be safe.
May you and I (we) be peaceful.
May you and I (we) be healthy.
May you and I (we) live with ease.
Now, letting go of the image of the other, and letting the full focus of your attention rest directly on yourself. Visualizing your whole body in your mind's eye, noticing any stress or uneasiness that may be lingering within you, and offering yourself the phrases.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
Perhaps there are different words that speak to you more directly than the other ones we already used. See if you can offer yourself some words that you might like to hear from others, or you would say to others.
Finally, taking a few breaths and just resting quietly in your own body, savoring the goodwill and compassion that flows naturally from your own heart. Knowing that you can return to the phrases anytime you wish.