One of the most powerful and most healing meditations that has come from the Buddhist tradition is the Loving Kindness Meditation. In this practice, we cultivate love and kindness for ourselves and the world around us – and the affects are truly miraculous! Today, I’d like to share a simplified version of the traditional Loving Kindness Meditation that I like to do whenever I have time or whenever I am feeling down. This meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, by anyone – and you will feel changes happen almost instantly!
- Generate love and kindness for yourself. Recognize that you are a unique, special, and needed being in this world and that you are here for a reason. Try to feel love and kindness for yourself as an individual, and try to see yourself as valuable. This does not have to be ‘egotistical’, it is simply the truth!
- Now, generate love for the people you know closely. Family, friends, teachers, and acquaintances who add something special to your life everyday. Feel the love, gratitude, and kindness welling up inside of you and shining out into the world.
- Next, think of all the people on this planet who you don’t know. There are nearly 7 billion of us! Generate a sense of love, kindness, respect, and value for all of those people. Remember that each of the has a story, a history, fears, hopes, dreams, and wishes just like you do.
- Finally, generate feelings of love and kindness for anyone who might consider to be an enemy. This is so difficult, but so powerful! Love them and give them kindness. You don’t have to force forgiveness or acceptance – that comes naturally later on. What you can do for now is simply recognize that they are human, fallible, and on the same learning journey you are on. Use that to simply feel love and kindness for them, despite what they may have done to offend you. Over time, all of the power they hold over you through anger or resentment will return to you and transform your life in astounding ways!
This simple meditation is so powerful that is serves as the basis to the entire Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice. No matter what your spiritual view is, try this meditation and see why it works so well!