A simple guide to loving kindness meditation

Jun 03, 2020 — Steven Yorke
A simple guide to loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness meditation (or Metta meditation) has been shown to foster empathy, increase happiness and even decrease chronic pain.

It’s a straightforward practice that you can start today. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get you started.

Step 1: Relax

It’s important to be in a comfortable position, so take a seat, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Step 2: Self-compassion

Just repeat some simple phrases in your mind, such as:

May I live well and be happy.

May I let go of craving and resentment.

May I find joy in my life.

Loving kindness begins with the simple act of directing positivity towards ourselves.

In our day-to-day lives, we are often least compassionate with ourselves. We might, for example, call ourselves stupid for making a small mistake, but we wouldn't dream of doing the same to our friends. So this step might be the most overdue.

Step 3: Compassion for loved ones

Again, repeat simple sentences in your mind.

May they live well and be happy.

May they let go of craving and resentment.

May they find joy in their lives.

Next, think of a friend or a family member and direct loving thoughts towards them. Taking the time to think about how we appreciate our loved ones will make us more grateful for having them in our lives, which in itself can make us feel happier.

Step 4: Compassion for others

Keep them in mind while you repeat the positive phrases:

May they live well and be happy.

May they let go of craving and resentment.

May they find joy in their lives.

Now, bring to mind a person you don't know particularly well. Somebody you feel indifferent about or maybe even somebody you don't like very much. Direct positive thoughts towards them.

Step 5: Compassion for all

Now extend your positive wishes to all living beings.

May they live well and be happy.

May they let go of craving and resentment.

May they find joy in their lives.

In the same way that wishing harm on others actually causes us to suffer; wishing for the wellbeing of all beings can generate a sense of calm and happiness.

By starting a regular practice of loving kindness meditation, you should start to notice that you have more patience with those that you previously found irritating, as well as feeling gratitude for the loved-ones in your life.

We can further develop our compassionate mindset by trying to be mindful of how we affect others in our day-to-day lives; whether it’s the way we act at work, the things we spend our money on or the food that we eat.

Try the guided loving kindness meditations on the free Medito app. Download now from the App Store or Google Play.

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