Loving-Kindness is a practice to cultivate compassion for ourselves and others. It consists of a series of phrases said while in a centered or meditative state. We send a series of wishes on behalf of several people, including ourselves. The wishes and the order of people is not significant however, there is a traditional flow. Most importantly, be settled in a comfortable way and allow your mind and heart to be directed to the intention of sending loving-kindness. Do this practice while sitting, walking or while out in the world. Start simply with:
- May I (you) be safe
- May I (you) be happy
- May I (you) be healthy
- May I (you) live with ease
Say these phrases towards people in this order:
- Neutral person
- Difficult Person
- All life
Within Loving-Kindness many find a stance for social justice, creating a sustainable life and an overall experience of living a peaceful life.
Benefits of Loving-Kindness
- Connecting to a gentle friend within.
- Finding a gentleness for ourselves through times of transition.
- A softening of our judgments toward people who annoy us; this small opening allows us to see each person’s humanity more clearly.
- A calm serenity in the face of unfortunate circumstances, like when “bad things happen to good people”—wallet being stolen, freak car accidents, health crisis.
- Finding an easier stance with difficult emotions or bodily sensations, such as pain.
- A willingness to be transparent about hard feelings, challenging requests, everything.