When we talk about meditation, we often think about pranayama, guided meditation or yoga nidra. But, there is one more meditation technique that has the power to stimulate love and compassion. It was designed to emphasize on a practitioners well-being and love towards their self and others too. This amazing technique is none other than Love and Kindness Meditation or (LKM). But what exactly is this loving kindness meditation? How can it help you? And finally, how can you perform it effectively? In this article, we are going to answer each of this question and hope you allow yourself to immerse in love and kindness. Take a look!
What is Love and Kindness Meditation?
Love and kindness meditation is a method of developing compassion. It originated in the Buddhist tradition and is also known as Metta Bhavana. Here, the word metta means love or kindness while bhavana means cultivation or development. Thus, with loving kindness meditation, you can cultivate love not just towards yourself but also others around you. This love will have no conditions, will not depend on whether someone deserves it or not, and is not restricted to your family and friends.
Benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation
If you regularly perform even 5 minute loving kindness meditation or even a 10 minute loving kindness meditation, it can have tremendous effects on your life. Here are some of the benefits you can reap from loving kindness meditation:
- Anyone Can Do It: This meditation is all-inclusive and works for people of all age and gender. This means you can use loving kindness meditation for kids and adults as well. Just learn it properly and this can be a great thing to add to your daily routine.
- Boosts Empathy: When you become more kind and passionate towards other people, empathy also finds a way into your heart. You are able to connect with people and even living beings around you. This not only helps you understand various perceptions but also reduce negativity from your mind.
- Promotes Positivity: It is suggested that love and kindness meditation activates various areas in your brain, which in turn, involve emotional processing boosting the positivity in your mind. You begin to see the best in others and this give you peace and calmness altogether.
- Anxiety and Stress Management: Some published studies have suggested that practicing this self kindness meditation helps in tackling social anxiety, anger, and stress. You relax and find that compassion leads you towards better solutions in life as well. Some studies even conclude that this meditation can help in the treatment of chronic pain and borderline personality disorder. However, there is no further evidence to prove this.
- Mends Relationships: You can also use this meditation for relationship. As it tends to make your more empathetic and increase compassion, your relationship conflicts may lessen. You also accept people for who they are and love them unconditionally.
Though all these benefits require more evidence to be concrete, there is no harm or risk in trying loving kindness meditation. A short loving kindness meditation will only take a few moments of your day in return of a happy and loving you.
How to do Loving Kindness Meditation?
You can try various loving kindness guided meditation based on the Buddhist traditions. Each one has different techniques but the core of psychological operation is same. Below is a simple and effective loving kindness meditation you can try today:
- Find a quiet and calm place to sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and relax your muscles.
- Take a few deep and long breaths. Now, focus on the heart center. When you breath in and around, imagine that you are breathing from this heart center.
- Now, start generating kindness towards yourself. Drop all the negative feeling like self-judgment, self-hatred or conflicts from your mind. Imagine that you are perfect and thank yourself for who you are. Focus on this feeling on inner peace and breathe out the tension.
- While breathing, use these traditional phrases or the ones you make for yourself:- May I be happy
- May I be safe - May I stay healthy and strong - May I be free of stress and mental troubles - May I live happily and peacefully
- Next, immerse yourself in this feeling of warmth and self-compassion. If you get distracted, try to gently bring your attention back to feeling of loving kindness. Stay in this feeling for as long as you like.
- Now, move your focus to loved ones in your life. Start with someone who is very close, it can be your mother, your child or your partner. Feel your love and gratitude towards them. You can also use reassuring phrases such as I wish you stay healthy and strong Let such phrases spread through your body, mind, and soul.
- Extend this feeling to the people all over the world. You can also include people towards you have feeling of conflict. Use positive phrases to keep the warmth alive.
When you feel your loving kindness meditation is over, open your eyes.
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