MEDITATE FOR LOVE AND KINDNESS *with a bonus meditation included*
Peace starts in the hearts and minds of individuals. Peace is not the responsibility of politicians, it is the responsibility of each one of us.
Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Jesus Christ all changed history by having peace in their hearts.
It is possible to develop the peace of mind where we can see that the “enemies” are frightened and distressed, and transform our relationship into compassion and love with all.
I recently learned this beautiful meditation, but Buddhism has taught the Loving Kindness Meditation for over 2500 years. This is not something that you read or think. This is something you do. You do not need any beliefs to do this. It is an action of the body and the mind.
Repeating this practice will change you; it will change how you feel and act.
Learn to do it and you will change yourself.
Teach others how to do it and you begin to change the world.
The Loving Kindness Meditation — or the Meditation of Peace — is a specific sequence of thoughts in which you hold first yourself, then a friend, a neutral person, a difficult person, and finally all other people in your heart in peace. There are many other meditations in many traditions but this is a specific meditation that brings about peace.
Meditation is simple, but it’s not particularly easy.
Meditation is focusing the mind on a single thing, letting distractions slip past unnoticed. There are proven ways to make this easier to do:
First you ease the body, sit comfortably. Then you quieten your mind, start with focusing on your breathing, this is a good way to quieten the mind.
Then you hold your meditation in your mind and, in this case, in your heart….
Time to Meditate….
So i am going to give you this beautiful meditation here:
“The Loving Kindness Meditation — the Meditation for Peace”
because we can all do with more love and peace and kindness, and imagine if all of us practiced this it would create a energetic wave of Universal peace and love and kindness, so give it a try…its worth it..
And remember, the important thing is to pay attention to what you are doing. Don’t judge, just observe. If you have an internal voice commenting on what you are doing, ask it very nicely if it will go away until you have finished meditating. Tell it a time when it can come back.
Move and ease your body, starting with the muscles of the scalp and face. Gently stretch your neck and ease your shoulders and spine. Move your torso, waist and hips. Stretch your thighs, and stretch and move your knees, lower legs, ankles and feet. None of this need take more than 2 or 3 minutes.
Enjoy the movement. Pay attention to your body, observe it, and listen to it. Be kind to it. If you feel aches or pains, then send them loving kindness.
If other thoughts come into your mind, gently release them with loving kindness, both to them and to yourself.
Stilling the Mind:
Sit comfortably on your chair or bed and balance your head and spine. Breathe gently in and out a few times, letting the breath come and go without judgement. Just observe the breath as you observed your movements earlier. If thoughts come, let them go gently and kindly. Just bring the attention back to the breath.
Holding Yourself in Loving Kindness:
Begin to think about yourself. Hold yourself in loving kindness. There are many ways to do this:
You can use words — say ‘May I be well. May I be happy. May I live in peace’ in time with your breathing.
You can use images — picture yourself surrounded by beautiful colors, or imagine yourself in the most peaceful place, however loving kindness looks to you.
You can use feelings — you can hold yourself in your own heart and bathe yourself in feelings of love, kindness and peace.
Play softly with these different methods or use a combination of them. Be kind to yourself and do not be judgmental. Let any other thoughts drift silently and easily away from you.
Holding a Friend in Loving Kindness:
Think of a friend. At first, choose someone who is alive and with whom there is no sexual or romantic connection.
Again, hold them in loving kindness — use whichever of the ways works the best. Let any distractions go. If you start thinking about the last time you saw them or the next time you will see them, then gently bring your mind back to holding them in non-judgmental loving kindness. Use images, words (‘may she be well, may she be happy, may she live in peace’), feelings or any of the three to do so.
Holding a Neutral Person in Loving Kindness:
Think of someone you see but do not know. The driver of yesterday’s bus. The person who served you coffee or put your groceries through the till.
When you hold them in loving kindness you may want to imagine who they are, where they are from, what their lives might be like. Use whichever method works best for you. Images, words (‘may he be well, may he be happy, may he live in peace’) or feelings. Let distractions evaporate away like silent mist.
Holding a Difficult Person in Loving Kindness:
Think of someone you have difficulty with. Be kind to yourself, so do not make it an ex, a parent or a sibling. Perhaps it is someone who just rubs you up the wrong way.
You may want to imagine what it is like to be that person, or you may not. Again, use whatever is simplest: pictures, words or feelings. The objective is not that this person should become your new best friend. The objective is that you should practice caring for them as you would any other human being.
Holding the Four People in Loving Kindness:
Now think of all four people: yourself, your friend, the neutral person and the difficult person. Gently compare your responses to each one. By now you will have found which works best for you — images, words or feelings.
The objective is to feel exactly the same way towards each person. This is why we start with easier relationships. For many people, putting themselves on an equal footing with others is difficult. Try to balance your responses to each of the people, becoming aware of their needs, fears and common humanity.
Now hold all four — yourself and the three others — in loving kindness. Again, use the pictures, words or feelings that work best for you. Stay in this space for a little while.
Holding the World in Loving Kindness:
Now increase your focus and expand your feelings. Think not just of these four people, but expand your consciousness to include more and more people.
You may do this by thinking of the people in the same building, the same street, the same city, the same country, the world; moving out like a satellite image, expanding to include more and more.
Or you may stretch your feelings out sideways to include others, in the same way that water flows around and past us all, finally encompassing the seas.
There is no right way. Try several and play. Again, let thoughts, particularly judgmental thoughts, just fade quietly and softly away.
When you are ready, bring yourself back to where you are, begin to deepen your breathing. Follow the air as it flows into your body and out again.
Inhabit your body again. Feel your behind on whatever you are sitting. Feel your legs and back. Become aware of your whole body. Continue to observe your breathing. Wriggle your fingers and toes. Gently move your arms and legs. Feel the chair, the bed or the ground.
When you are ready, open your eyes.
Be gentle with yourself as you come back. After meditating it is a good idea to have a drink of cold water.
Meditation is something you do, not something you think. Only doing it is doing it, and each time you do you will find it becomes more familiar and easier.
As you practice this regularly you will find that you become more aware of the humanity of other people. They annoy you less. You have more time for them when you deal with them. You cut them more slack. And this change comes from within you.
At this time, we all need to increase our awareness of the vulnerability and humanity of everyone on the planet. As you change, you will change the others around you.
Start where you are. Start with yourself.
Love and light xxx
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