Guided Lovingkindness Practice

Sit comfortably, with your hands in your lap, and your feet touching the ground.  Make sure your back is straight but relaxed.  You can have your eyes open or closed. 

Now slowly settle into awareness of your body breathing…gently notice what is present for you right now…Open to sensations or thoughts as arise.   And take three deep breaths.

In this short practice, we will cultivate lovingkindness, or friendship that is unconditional and open.  The practice is done by silently repeating certain phrases that express kind wishes first to ourselves and then to a series of others.

I will offer as guidance phrases that I have developed for my own practice. You’re invited to alter these phrases and choose whatever words best express your wishes of lovingkindness toward yourself and others.   The phrases are:

May I feel connected and calm

May I know and honor my truth

May I live with steady presence

Or whichever phrases are meaningful to you.

And now, let’s begin by turning our attention inward and offering the phrases of lovingkindness to yourself...

May I feel connected and calm

May I know and honor my truth

May I live with steady presence

Silently repeating the phrases for the next few moments.

Now you can open the circle of lovingkindness by bringing to mind someone who is dear to you. Someone, that when you think of them, it warms your heart.  Now offer the phrases of lovingkindness to them:

May you feel connected and calm

May you know and honor your truth

May you live with steady presence

Now bring to mind someone who you do not know very well but you have a sense of who they are.  It might be a neighbor, a grocery store clerk, or someone you pass in the halls of your office.  With this person in mind repeat the words of lovingkindness for them...

May you feel connected and calm

May you know and honor your truth

May you live with steady presence

And now bring to mind someone with whom you’ve had a difficult relationship.

Remembering that they too experience pain and are deserving of compassion.  With them in mind, offer the phrases of lovingkindness:

May you feel connected and calm

May you know and honor your truth

May you live with steady presence

Now expand your awareness to think of everyone in this room and offer the phrases of lovingkindness here:

May we feel connected and calm

May we know and honor our truth

May we live with steady presence

And now to close, allow your awareness to open in all directions...to all beings everywhere – and offer the phrases of lovingkindness.

May all beings feel connected and calm

May all beings know and honor their truth

May all beings live with steady presence

 

Now gently bring your attention back to the sensations of breathing.