How to Practise Lovingkindness Meditation
Lovingkindness meditation (also called Metta meditation) is a powerful tool used to cultivate love and kindness towards ourselves and others. It helps to shift our focus from negative self-talk and criticism to positive emotions such as love, compassion, and joy. It involves the repetition of specific phrases that are intended to evoke feelings of kindness and warmth towards oneself and those around us. In this blog post, we’ll explore how lovingkindness meditation can help you cultivate self-love, and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to practise it.
Find a Quiet Space
The first step to practising lovingkindness meditation is to find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a room in your house, a quiet park, or any other peaceful location. Find a comfortable seated position and keep your spine straight.
Bring to Mind a Person You Love
Next, bring to mind a person in your life that you love unconditionally. It could be a family member, a friend, a pet, or anyone else who has brought joy and happiness to your life. Imagine them sitting in front of you, smiling and radiating positivity.
Repeat Lovingkindness Phrases
Now we’ll start with the lovingkindness practice. Repeat these phrases silently to yourself, focusing on the person in front of you:
- May you be happy
- May you be peaceful
- May you be healthy
- May you be safe
Repeat each phrase several times, at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. Allow the feelings of love, kindness, and warmth to fill your heart and radiate towards the person.
Move to Self Practice
Once you feel comfortable with the above phrases, move on to the practice of self-love. This step can be difficult for some people as we tend to be our biggest critics. However, it’s important to remember that we deserve the same love and kindness we give to others.
Bring to mind an image of yourself, smiling and happy. Repeat the following phrases silently to yourself:
- May I be happy
- May I be peaceful
- May I be healthy
- May I be safe
Allow the feelings of love and warmth to flow towards yourself and fill your heart. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to the phrases.
To experience the full benefits of lovingkindness meditation, it’s important to practice regularly. Aim for 10-15 minutes every day. You can also switch up the phrases to suit your goals. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety, you can add the phrase, “May I be free from fear and anxiety.”
Cultivating self-love is crucial for our overall well-being and happiness. Lovingkindness meditation is a powerful tool that can help you develop self-love and experience feelings of joy, gratitude, and kindness towards yourself and others. By following the steps outlined in this blog post and practising regularly, you’ll be able to move past negative self-talk and criticism and embrace self-love, compassion, and kindness.
Want to know more? Discover more about the benefits of scientific mindfulness meditation for self-love and compassion in Dr. Elise Bialylew’s book The Happiness Plan 💛
"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."
- DR ELISE BIALYLEW
about the HOST AND FOUNDER OF
MINDFUL IN MAY:
DR ELISE BIALYLEW
Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.
A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.
Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.
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