Loving Kindness Independent Practice Week
Good Morning. It’s Monday…always more challenging than Sunday. We are beginning a week of self-guided mindfulness practice (or for those of you in groups, you can vote as a group and repeat the same practice for the week). I wanted to take a moment to review. Loving-kindness is really a mental state of openness, contentedness, and warmth. Some equate it to optimism, but it isn’t a pollyanna-ish optimism that tomorrow will be better than today. Rather, it is a calm optimism that all will be ok because with compassion towards self and others, we can truly weather most anything. Loving kindness is an attitude that is achieved and maintained with practice. It is the act of intentionally generating unconditionally warm, nonjudgmental feelings towards yourself and others. The key to this practice is creating the physical sensation of warm, positive feelings.
Today, the benefit I want to highlight for you is the reduction in fear and anxiety that occurs with regular loving kindness practices. When we sit in warmth and recall love, we realize that we are safe and well. This practice reduces the generalized fear that something bad will happen if we don’t hold the reigns of our experience fiercely.
If you haven’t already, watch this clip by researcher Daniel Goleman on this type of mindfulness practice Daniel Goleman on the effects of loving kindness
Now, choose the practice you will repeat each day. Think about whether you prefer guided practices where you listen to someone’s voice and maybe watch images, or if you prefer silent practices where you repeat a mantra with breath or with a half-smile, or perhaps you liked chanting or music.
My favorite guided loving kindness:
Groovy music loving kindness:
Chanting loving kindness in English:
Chanting loving kindness in Pali:
Other guided loving kindness practices:
Basic Silent Mantra:
May I be Safe
May I be Healthy
May I be Happy
May I live with Ease
May you be Safe
May you be Healthy
May you be Happy
May you live with Ease
Adapted Silent Mantra:
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.
May my mind be open like a child’s.
May I be calm and peaceful in the midst of confusion.
May you learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May you be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May you learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.
May your mind be open like a child’s.
May you be calm and peaceful in the midst of confusion.
Each day, try to practice your same chosen practice at the same time of day. Remember, that your goal is to actually adopt the mental state of loving kindness as you deal with all of the moments you experience in your day and your week.
I wish you fruitful practice!