Hello and welcome. My name is Liana Danese. I am currently an addiction counselor at Trafalgar Residence, and today I will be guiding you through a loving kindness meditation.
Loving kindness meditations are all about cultivating that self-compassion, that self-love, and, of course, creating some kindness towards ourselves. So take a second to settle in and get comfortable and we will begin this loving kindness meditation.
Become comfortable in your chair or cushion, sitting in a relaxed straight posture. Allow your shoulders to relax. Allow your jaw to relax. And allow your eyes to gently close. Began by noticing the breath feeling yourself, slowly, inhale through the nose and fully exhale through the mouth.
Began to settle into the awareness of the body and the breath. Simply noticing how our body feels right now. And being open to experiencing whatever is going on in the body in this moment. Once again, connecting to the breath. Noticing the wave-like movements of the belly.
In this practice, we’ll be cultivating loving kindness as human beings.
We all have this capacity for loving kindness. Loving-kindness is a natural opening of the compassionate heart towards ourselves and towards others. It’s a wish that everyone could be happy.
And so we begin developing loving kindness towards ourselves. Think about a time that you have been kind or generous. You might recall your natural desire to be happy, to not suffer. If acknowledging your goodness is difficult. Look at yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you.
Ask yourself what does that person love about you? Or you may want to recall the unconditional love we felt from a beloved pet. Did you experience this love? Notice how you feel in your body. Maybe you feel some warmth. Or heat in the face. A smile. A sense of expansiveness. This feeling is loving-kindness.
A natural feeling that is accessible to all of us. Always. Resting with this feeling of open, unconditional love for a few moments. We sit mindfully here. Letting yourself bask in the energy of loving kindness, breathe it in and breathe it out.
Inviting feelings of peace and acceptance. And together we’d like to extend words of love and kindness to ourselves. So in your own mind or out loud offer these words to yourself.
May I be filled with loving kindness? May I be held in loving kindness? May I feel connected and calm? May I accept myself just as I am? May I be happy? May I know the natural joy of being alive?
And allow ourselves to just really take in the meaning of these phrases. Once again repeating these phrases to ourselves. May I be filled with loving kindness? May I hold in loving kindness? May I feel connected and calm? May I accept myself just as I am? May I be happy? May I know the natural joy of being alive?
Once again, turning to the breath. Now you may want to begin to open the circle of love and kindness by bringing someone who is dear to you in your mind’s eye.
Someone who you care about. Someone who has always been supportive to you. Picture this person standing in front of you. And reflect on this person’s basic goodness. Sensing in particular what you love about him or her. Feel this completely in your heart. Your entire appreciation for this individual. And begin your simple offering.
May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be held in loving kindness. May you feel my love now. May you accept yourself just as you are. May you be happy. May you know the natural joy of being alive. And again, turning back to our breath. And just sitting with whatever feelings arise in this time. Not judging ourselves. But just noticing.
Now I invite you to bring to mind a neutral person. This is someone you might see regularly, but don’t know well. Perhaps it’s a neighbor, a co-worker. A grocery store clerk. Picture this person in your mind standing in front of you. And repeat the words of loving kindness to them. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be held in loving kindness. May you feel my love now. May you accept yourself just as you are. May you be happy. May you know the natural joy of being alive.
Once again, turning back to that breath. Allowing ourselves to fully inhale and completely exhale. Now, if it is possible for you, bring to mind someone with whom you’ve had a difficult relationship.
Perhaps it’s someone you don’t feel any sympathy or compassion for. Allowing yourself to see if it’s possible to let go of feelings of resentment and dislike for this person. Reminding yourself to see this person as a whole being. Just like you, deserving of love and kindness. As a person who feels pain and anxiety. And as a person who also suffers. Seeing if it is possible to extend this person, the words of loving kindness in your mind. Repeat to yourself.
May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be held in loving kindness. May you feel my love now. May you accept yourself just as you are. May you be happy. May you know the natural joy of being alive. And lastly, allow your awareness to open up in all directions.
Picturing yourself a loved one, a neutral person, a difficult person in all beings, humans and animals living everywhere, living in richness in poverty, war, peace, hunger and abundance.
Become aware of all the joys and all the sorrows that all beings experience and offer to them. These phrases. May all beings be filled with loving kindness. May all beings be happy. May all beings be awake and free. May all beings be happy. Allow yourself to sit here. Noticing the breath.
Taking a few moments to be mindful. And when you are ready. Bring movement back to the body, wiggling out the toes, the arms, the legs. And finally, opening your eyes. And ending this meditation.