Give Yourself the Gift of Loving-Kindness Meditation

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I was introduced to the concept of 'loving-kindness meditation' a few years back then I read 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Loving-kindness meditation is a technique that aims to enhance or develop a capacity for loving and acceptance within ourselves and for others. When practiced regularly, this type of meditation produces four types of love: friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. To do this type of meditation, first find a comfortable, quiet spot where you can sit without interruption for a period of time. Next, you will need to identify people who fall into each of the following categories. Try to focus on people to whom you are not physically attracted so that you can focus on the meditation rather than the attraction:

  • A respected, beloved person (a teacher, co-worker, or friend)

  • A dearly beloved person (close family member, close friend)

  • A neutral person (someone you know but don’t have strong feelings towards such as an acquaintance)

  • A hostile person (someone you are currently experiencing difficulty with)

During the meditation, you will start your focus with yourself and then move on to each of the people you have identified using the list above. Send feelings of loving-kindness and compassion to each of these people (starting with yourself) in order. You can do this via visualization (imaging the individual smiling at you), reflection (reflecting on the positive qualities of the person), or by repeating a phrase in your head such as ‘loving-kindness’ or ‘acceptance’.

I practice this meditation technique every so often, especially when I'm feeling down or grumpy. It reminds me of the love I have in my life and sets a more positive mindset for the day. I have also found that this style of meditation helps to balance the heart chakra. After I send loving loving vibes to a variety of people, I feel a sense of community and fulfillment as well as a more profound appreciation of myself. My day seems to go better; likely because I started it with love.

I challenge you to try this type of meditation on a consistent basis for 30 days to see if your mindset changes! Happy meditation!

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