I am a firm believer that love is all you need.
If you can build up love for yourself, your journey and the life you live, all of life’s limits seem to be lifted. Coincidences start happening, the perfect people enter your life at the right moment, and everything feels more colorful.
But before you can fully experience or share your love and kindness, it must first be cultivated within you.
This can be incredibly easy for some people since love can be found in many different situations, but sometimes it takes a little more thought and intention to ignite your passion for yourself.
The Loving-Kindness Meditation
This type of meditation was originally named Metta Bhavana in the Pali language.
“Metta” meaning love beyond the romantic limits that is felt for people you interact with, but rather a selfless sort of kindness, and compassion. “Bhavana” meaning creation or cultivation and development.
This meditation can be used to help you create more self-love and acceptance within your heart and spirit, and in turn, enable you to share this positive vibration with the world.
It is best if you read first, take what you can, and then practice on your own, working to recreate the parts that personally feel the most right to you.
Let’s go step-by-step:
- Find a place where you feel comfortable. This can be a familiar or unfamiliar place but it must be somewhere with few distracting noises and somewhere you feel ok with letting go of consciousness thoughts.Find a comfortable position. You can sit in a chair, cross-legged, or laying comfortably on the ground. You want to be aware enough of your surroundings but not feel distracted.
2. Try to focus on the feeling of your breath expanding your lungs and slowly leaving your body. Become aware of your body and the weight of it as it rests on the Earth.
Tell your pressing thoughts to take a number and allow them to fade into the background as you become conscious of energy flowing through every part of your body. Take a moment to appreciate these little feelings, and that you have this wonderful body to live your life through.
Appreciate you health and capability. Even if you don’t feel like you take good enough care of your body, you’ve made it this far, so it must like you at least a little!
Love it back. It’s not perfect, but then again, no body is. That’s a beautiful thing — just your ability to exist is special.
Feel this gratitude swell up in the middle of your chest. Focus your loving energy into your heart center, letting it warm you up from the core.
Repeat this mantra to yourself 3 times: May I be happy.. May I feel loved.. May I be free..
3. While you repeat this, picture an image that fills you up with love on the inside. Maybe a place where you feel happy and at home, or a person you have deep feelings for, or a beloved pet.
Feel the emotion that this image conjures, and allow that intense feeling to radiate from your heart and throughout your entire body, all the way to your toes.
It’s normal to experience fleeting thoughts of self-awareness and sometimes self-doubt. This is a conscious, intentional experience, so you may sometimes become aware of what you are doing. When this happens, acknowledge the thought, and ask yourself to let it go so that you can concentrate on feelings of love and acceptance instead.
4. Pay attention to the love coursing through you, and let it soothe all of your doubts in yourself and your process.
5. Think about someone in your life that you like — not the person you think of when you love unconditionally — but someone with whom you would love to create a deeper relationship.
Now visualize pushing some of the warmth and love you are feeling into their direction. Recall the face they make that makes you feel happy, think of their many attributes, and love that they also have flaws, but that it’s what makes them unique and perfect, just like you.
Repeat this mantra 3 times: May you be happy.. May you feel loved.. May you be free..May you be happy
Send your love into the universe or whatever higher power you believe in so that it may find this person, and positively influence others on the way.
Repeat this process for at least one more person in your life that you appreciate and respect. Once you do, your feelings towards these people should feel more important and complex because you have placed deeper meaning on your relationship.
6. Now think of someone who has recently gotten on your nerves or wronged you. Imagine the negative energy surrounding this person, and let it drop to the ground. This person is not perfect either; they make mistakes, they sometimes act without thinking, they are humans too. Appreciate that. Let your loving energy be directed at this person as well.
Repeat the mantra: May you be happy… May you feel loved… May you be free…
Finally: Reflect on the spiritual development that has occurred inside you through this experience.
Acknowledge the love that has been cultivated in your heart and soul. Every person deserves these things. Wish them upon people regardless of your own personal feelings.
You are not here to be in control of anyone other than yourself. Allow those feelings to leave your thoughts. You are a more full and happy person without them.
When you practice regarding people with more love and kindness, it begins to turn you into a happier, more pleasant person to be around and people will gravitate to you.
The simple act of directing loving energy out from your heart is enough to change your immediate world. This is largely due to current perception of reality. So, when you are feeling and projecting love, then there is a lot of love in your immediate vicinity that is bouncing around and back to you!
Let me know your experiences with this meditation in the comments below!
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