How To Do Loving Kindness Meditation
Last Saturday, at the Open Heart Workshop, I thought the very best meditation for opening energy in the heart was the Loving Kindness Meditation. I love this meditation for expanding your love and compassion to include as many beings as you can.
Loving Kindness Meditation:
After finding your seat and anchoring yourself in your breath, get centered the aliveness of your heart area, find the energy in your chest. It might help to rub your hands together in front of your heart. This will at least help you to feel the energy in your hands and you can follow this feeling of aliveness up your arms and then into your chest.
From the energy in your heart, allow feelings of kindness and compassion and love to radiate from this place until these energies fill up your whole being. Allow yourself to feel loved and cradled. Like a child. Like all who deserve loving kindness, nurturing. Let your attention radiating out from the heart all over your body be that of a mothering energy or father energy. Let it honor your being. Relax into this loving energy, accepting yourself exactly as you are, breathing it in and out, holding on to it for life. You might find a mantra to say to yourself, “I am loved.” “May I be free.” Wish yourself well with these words. ….Once you have cradled yourself in your own loving kindness, a peaceful compassion, you can stay here, bathing in this loving energy.
Or you can move on to letting this loving kindness radiate outward towards members of your immediate family. If you have children, hold them in your mind’s eye and heart, visualize their light, their essence, their souls, and wish them well. If you don’t have children, perhaps hold in this energy your partner, spouse, parents, or siblings. Honor your parents, dead or alive, known or unknown. Forgive for their limitations, for their fear and pain, if it’s possible for you today. Ask that these people not suffer needlessly, that they find their purpose. Don’t stop here.
Perhaps, move to people in your outer circle, people who are your friends. Extended family. See some faces, send that loving kindness to them, wishing that they be well, that they be free. Wish them success and happiness.
Now hold in your mind’s eye someone you see every day or most days or maybe just today, someone you don’t know. A total stranger. Send that person this energy. It very well may benefit these people, but mostly it’s for you, for your emotional being. If possible, hold someone in your heart that you have a hard time with, an enemy or if you don’t have any (good for you), a person with whom you struggle, who strikes your nerves. Wish them well, accept them for their fears and pain and send them compassion and kindness, noting that they most likely need it more than anyone else.
Send loving kindness now to whole communities or groups of people who have been oppressed or suffer. Sned loving kindness to all those whose lives are less fortunate, communities or nations, peoples whose lives are ridden with violence, poverty, drugs, or hatred. Recognize your oneness with these people. They also have families and friends, dreams, goals, aspirations. They also suffer. Have compassion, send love.
Now, finally, extend your loving kindness energy to the entire planet, its beauty and glory, its silent suffering, to all geography: rivers and mountains, forests, oceans, animals and plants, humans. Everything working to live and die together with the light and spark of God within it all. Send your kind energy, give it away.