By Marilyn Halpern, MSW, LSW ~
Loving Kindness or Metta Meditation is an ultimate form of compassion towards yourself and others. It is a soothing, intentional way to increase emotional strength and promote wellness. “Metta” is associated with benevolence, friendship, positive energy and kindness for you and others.
The light, wonder and warmth of summer is the perfect time to explore the practice of a loving kindness mediation routine. You can try this quiet time of reflection for 5 minutes and try to build up to 20 minutes a day. In this practice you will begin by focusing on your wellbeing. You can then extend positive feelings to your partner, family, community and ultimately to all beings everywhere.
Loving Kindness Meditation
Find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Close your eyes or soften your gaze. Aim for a state of relaxation. Allow yourself to take three or four deep breaths, try to fill your chest and abdomen with air. Deliberately breath deeply and slowly to give your mind and body a space of calmness and comfort. When you feel you are in a relaxed state, let your breathing settle into a natural rhythm.
In this experience, you will begin by wishing positive energy to yourself. Repeat the phrases slowly and for a chosen period of time or repetitions:
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
Now you can call to mind someone you care about. It could be your partner, family member, or a dear friend. At this point, you are now expanding your good wishes beyond yourself. Repeat the phrases in a meaningful way as you think of that person.
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
To continue the practice, you can now call to mind a person who you are having difficulties with right now. You can repeat the phases trying to lessen the negative emotions associated with that person.
As your practice continues, you can extend your benevolence collectively to your colleagues, neighbors, community and ultimately to all people and creatures.
To deepen your practice, here is a free worksheet to increase your positive experience:
Josh Wise provides a wonderful Loving Kindness Medication: https://youtu.be/-d_AA9H4z9U
As we welcome June, I hope these gentle exercises bring you one step closer to increasing your joy and self-compassion. May loving kindness be with you and your family.
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit – www.aspencareservices.com. Photo credit: Zdenek Machacek