Learn Loving Kindness Meditation
Dhammapada or Loving kindness meditation is one of the two simplest meditations in Buddhism. This type of meditation helps bring about positive changes in practitioners’ lives and helps them develop loving feelings toward all other living creatures.
The main purpose of Dhammapada is to cultivate love and despite the fact that it comes from Buddhist tradition it can be adopted and practiced by anyone regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations. This type of meditation must be practiced without any expectations.
10 Minute Loving Kindness Guided Meditation To Love Yourself & Others
This is a truly unselfish practice that results in ideal or pure love that each of us is capable of. We begin with loving ourselves and then extend this pure love to include others, starting with people special to us and eventually extending it to all living things.
Loving Kindness Meditation Script
To begin this mediation, find the position in which you will find yourself most comfortable. You can either kneel or sit cross-legged using a meditation pillow if you like. One of the goals that meditation tries to accomplish is to make the practitioner feel good, so being in a comfortable position is essential to any meditation practice.
Focus your mind on bringing your awareness into the present. For few minutes focus your gaze on something pleasant to look at. Things like plants, statues of Buddha, or candles will serve perfectly for this. Concentrate on breathing while you’re doing this.
Take a deep inner breath followed by a longer outer breath. Try to slow down your breathing, as well as your mental processes. Don’t let the mind wander and discard any thoughts that arise during this part of meditation.
Now close your eyes and scan your body to become fully aware of it. Begin with your toes and move slowly upward through the legs, torso, arms, shoulder, neck, and head. As you pass through each part of the body feel the tension disappear and you become even more relaxed as you move up.
Reflect on what you want to achieve during this meditation. With your eyes gently closed throughout the meditation begin to cultivate the feeling of loving kindness. There are many ways to achieve this. One way is to recall the times when you felt loving-kindness and try to recreate these types of feelings during the time of meditation.
You can also use language that represents the feeling of loving kindness. You can repeat phrases like “May I be free of pain and suffering”, “May I be happy, safe, and protected”. Continue breathing in and out as your state these phrases and think or repeat them several times to feel the full effect. Feel the meaning of these words spread through your whole body, mind, and heart.
During the first stage of meditation cultivate loving kindness towards yourself. It’s important to feel good about yourself. It’s important because the way we feel about ourselves is the way we treat others. For the second part of this meditation cultivate loving kindness toward someone you know and towards whom you have positive feelings.
Reflect on that person’s good qualities or visualize her or him radiating joy. At first, it might be best to focus on someone who is just a close acquaintance or a friend. For the second stage cultivate loving-kindness towards a neutral person who triggers neither positive nor negative emotions. It should be someone you know or see regularly, like a neighbor, a fellow student, or someone you run into on the regular basis.
Then use the same process towards someone with whom you have difficulties. Many people find that by practicing Dhammapada for a hostile person, their relationships with that person improve. Going further, cultivate loving-kindness towards yourself, your friend, and your enemy at the same time.
Feel how everything in this world is interconnected and by loving yourself you’re also loving every other living creature that you come into contact with during the span of your life.
Finally, extend your loving kindness outward until it reaches all living things. To do this think of different people in various locations across the globe going about their lives in various ways. In many ways, they do and act and care about the exact same things and this will realization should bring your closer to them and help you to achieve this feeling of love towards them.
After this final stage, sit quietly for few minutes and reflect on your experience you achieved during this meditation. Slowly become aware of your surroundings and gently return to your life of the outside world. Try to hold on to this feeling of love and wellbeing as you go about for the rest of the day.
The Secret to Loving Kindness For Yourself
You’re probably familiar with self-help books and talk show hosts who tell you to love yourself, but you may be wondering how to go about that. While your relationship with yourself is the most important connection in your life, it’s easy to forget about nurturing it.
However, loving kindness, self-love, and compassion are too important to neglect because they shape your experiences and relationships with others. Protect your health and wellbeing by making positive changes in the way you think about and treat yourself.
Changing the Way You Think about Yourself
Maybe you’re hard on yourself or you’re so busy with external obligations that you rarely consider your personal priorities. Looking inward could help you to value yourself more.
These loving kindness strategies will help you to think more highly of yourself:
1. Accept yourself. Know that you are worthy of love and respect just the way you are at this moment. Embrace yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Clarify your purpose. Invent your own definition of success. Ask yourself what a meaningful life means to you, even if that answer changes over time.
3. Talk yourself up. How do you speak to yourself? Choose words that are encouraging and uplifting. Use your internal dialogue with these loving kindness ideas to build your confidence and manage your emotions.
4. Offer forgiveness. Let go of the past so that you can move on. Take any decisions that you regret and turn them into opportunities to learn. Make amends where possible and resolve to handle things more constructively in the future.
5. Avoid comparisons. Facebook didn’t invent social comparisons, but social media has increased the potential for envy and inferiority complexes, a difficult road to loving kindness. Try competing with your last performance instead of living up to someone else’s standards. You’ll accomplish more if you dare to be yourself.
6. Think positive. Looking on the bright side and being able to laugh at yourself makes you even more loveable. It also helps you to manage stress and deal with difficult circumstances.
Changing the Way You Treat Yourself
Do your actions match your beliefs? You might say you love yourself, but your actions could be sending a different message.
Try these loving kindness techniques to treat yourself kindlier:
1. Practice self-care. Develop habits that keep your mind and body fit and strong. Go to bed early and exercise each day. Eat a balanced diet and watch your weight. Learn how to quiet your mind using simple meditation techniques and methods for self-love to empower your personal development.
2. Pick friends wisely. Surround yourself with family and friends who encourage and support you. Cultivate close relationships with others who share your goals. Engage in deep conversations where you can share your feelings and receive validation.
3. Pursue your passions. Identify the activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Block out time each day for something you love, whether it’s a task related to your job or something you do in your leisure time.
4. Set goals. Give yourself something to strive for. Working towards realistic and challenging goals builds your confidence as you add to your achievements.
5. Maintain boundaries. Know your limits so you can define what behavior you consider acceptable. That may include physical boundaries such as needing your own space and psychological boundaries such as being entitled to your own feelings and opinions.
6. Advocate for yourself. Once you understand your needs, you can communicate them to others. You’ll grow more skillful as you practice being direct and tactful in letting someone know if they cross your boundaries.
7. Seek support. Ask for what you need. Let others know specifically what they can do, whether you’re looking for practical assistance like pitching in with housework or just a friendly ear to listen while you sort out your feelings.
Loving kindness towards yourself can help you to enjoy more happiness, overcome challenges, and build healthier relationships with others. Make it a habit to treat yourself with kindness and respect.
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