This meditation is a loving kindness meditation. And it’s meant to generate feelings of goodwill and kindness, both for others and yourself. It’s not wishful thinking or wanting things to be other than they are, just trying to set your intention to kindness.
So get in a comfortable position, settle into a chair or on a cushion. And this will take about 20 minutes. First take three deep breaths to let out any tension from your day. Then let your breathing return to normal. noticing where you feel the breath most strongly as it enters and exits your nostrils, as your chest rises and falls, or perhaps as your abdomen rises and falls, or if it’s easiest to fill your breath.
So just focus on your breath for a few minutes, letting yourself become centered and calm. [silence] Your mind wanders, that’s fine. Just bring your awareness gently back to your breath. [ Silence ] (silence)
Now I’d like you to call to mind an image of someone who’s been unconditionally kind to you, who’s supported you, who’s cared about you over the years, someone with whom you have very uncomplicated feelings, maybe a mentor, favorite aunt, a good friend, even perhaps a favorite pet, that and that’s who comes to mind. So when you feel safe with, imagine this person in front of you, how they look, what they sound like, how you feel in their presence. Imagine this person was sitting across from you. you’re going to send them good will and kindness, the wish for their well-being. Repeating the following phrases silently. May you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be healthy. And may you live with ease and well-being. May you be safe, may you be peaceful, may you be healthy, and may you live with ease. And if this person is going through a hard time, feel free to add as possible at the end of each phrase. So silently repeat this to yourself, trying to get in touch with the real genuine feelings of care, concern, kindness you feel towards this person. [ Silence ] If your mind starts drifting off, just come back to the phrases. May you be safe, may you be peaceful, may you be healthy, and may you live with ease. [BLANK_AUDIO] [silence]
Now imagine yourself in this person’s presence. Include yourself in the circle of goodwill. Imagine yourself sitting in front of your person whom you care about so deeply. May we be safe. May we be peaceful. May we be healthy. And may we live with ease. Noting how safe you feel with this person, how much they care for you, how much you care for them. May we be safe. May we be peaceful. May we be healthy and may we both live with ease. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] (silence)
Now focus your attention exclusively on yourself. Remembering that you too deserve unconditional kindness, compassion, caring, as all human beings do. Let your feelings of kindness springboard from the ones you generated for this person you care about. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be healthy. And may I live with ease. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with your feelings, you might try putting your hand gently on your heart, feeling the warmth there. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be healthy, mind and body. May I live with ease. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [silence]
If you find yourself distracted or lost in thought, that’s fine. Just remember to come back to the phrases. And the feeling of care and kindness underlined the wish for goodwill. [BLANK_AUDIO] (silence)
Now I’d like you to call to mind someone that you know who you don’t really know very well. well, maybe you recognize them, you work with them, you see them at the grocery store. Someone whose story you don’t really know. Try to focus on one person. Remembering that even though you don’t know this person well or know their story, that they too suffer and want to be free of suffering. that they, like every human being, deserves kindness and care. Imagine this person in your mind’s eye and send this person kindness as well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be healthy. May you live with ease and well-being. Gently repeating the phrases to yourself. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [silence]
Coming back to the phrases and again if you’re feeling a little empty inside just put your hand on your heart. Let the physical warmth of your hand trickle down into your feelings. May you be safe. May you too be peaceful. May you be healthy. May you live with ease. [BLANK_AUDIO] [silence]
Now widen the circle of kindness, caring, compassion. Perhaps thinking of people close to you, your coworkers, your family, your friends, your inner circle of people who you see regularly, including yourself. Once more, may we all be safe. May we all be peaceful. May we all be healthy. May we all live with ease. [ Silence ] remembering how these people too wish you happiness and kindness just as you wish this for them. Let yourself both give and receive the goodwill. May we all be safe. May we be peaceful. May we be healthy. May we all live with ease.
Then widen the circle to include people in the city or town you live in. the people who you share community with. May we all be safe. May we be peaceful. May we be healthy. May we live with ease. Even though you know many people are suffering, still wishing them well. (silence) Then letting the circle widen still broader, (silence) broadly, broadly, broadly until it encompasses all of humankind, (silence) with all the joys and sorrows of living this human life. Just wishing, intending, sending the gift of loving kindness to all people who feel. May we be safe. May we be peaceful. May our world be peaceful. May we be healthy. May we live with ease.
Then widen the circle even more to include animals and plants, all living creatures. Remembering that you want all living creatures to be healthy, happy. May this earth and all creatures on it be safe. May we live peacefully in harmony. May we all be healthy and thriving. May we all live with natural ease.
And then for the last minute or so, just let yourself rest in the feelings of goodwill, kindness, caring, compassion that you’ve generated. Let yourself feel it in your body. And even if you feel a bit cold, shut down, just savor the intention, the intention of kindness. (soft music) And when you’re ready, gently open your eyes. And see if you can carry these feelings of goodwill throughout your day. [BLANK_AUDIO]