Loving Kindness: Sounds great, right? As with so many things, though, the term itself can make the practice feel out of reach when we don’t have a clear understanding of what it means. Of course the best way to understand is by experiencing it directly, but in lieu of that, here are some words that will hopefully scratch the surface for you enough to reveal what Loving Kindness meditation has to offer.
What Exactly Is Loving Kindness Meditation and How Do You Get Started?
Loving Kindness meditation invites you to expand your ability to have compassion for yourself and others, including those who you find off-putting, for whatever the reason. It opens the doorway to the possibility of being mindfully calm, clear, and loving in an otherwise chaotic world.
The practice itself is quite simple and involves Loving Kindness mantras that you repeat silently to yourself. You can do this while sitting in quiet meditation, certainly, but you can also do it while in traffic, standing in line at the grocery store, taking a walk outside, or anytime else you find it useful.
Here are some examples of Loving Kindness mantras. You are also encouraged to create your own and to practice exchanging the words “you,” “I” and “we” so you are calling in compassion for both yourself and others.
I am loved.
You are loved.
May I be safe.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
May I live my life with ease.
May I be the best version of myself.
May I have patience.
May I be loved and appreciated.
May I be valued.
May I be kind.
May I accept myself just as I am.
May all beings be safe and free from suffering.
The idea is that, by practicing Loving Kindness meditation, we soften and heal our hearts. We treat ourselves and others more gently and compassionately. We become less reactive and more present (also see: Words That Hurt and Mad Skills).
Try it for yourself over the course of a week and see how you feel.