Reasons you should use this loving-kindness meditation script

What is Loving-Kindness Meditation?

Loving-kindness meditation, or Metta meditation, is a centuries-old practice that originated in the Buddhist tradition. The practice involves repeating phrases to send out your wishes that all beings be happy, peaceful and healthy.

  • May you (or we) be happy
  • Peace may I (you/we) be
  • May you (or we) be well

These phrases can be said to yourself first, then to a wider audience. You might start with someone you are close to, then move on to someone neutral, someone you feel negative about, and finally, to all living beings.

Benefits of Meditation on Loving Kindness

Modern science increasingly backs LKM as a powerful practice that brings many emotional, psychological, and neurological health benefits. Studies into LKM show that it is linked with:

  1. More positive emotions such as love, joy and hope led to improved purpose in life, social support, and life satisfaction (Fredrickson and co-workers, 2008).
  2. Depressive symptoms and self-criticism in self-critical individuals are reduced (Shahar and co (2014)
  3. Increased empathy (Klimecki and co (2013)
  4. Improved Vagal Tone – The vagus nerve connects with our rest- and digest system – (Kok, et al. (2013)
  5. Reduction of chronic lower back pain (Carson and colleagues, 2005).
  6. Slower biological aging Telomeres are genetic material that shrinks due to aging and stress. Women who had experienced LKM had a longer telomere length than women in matched control groups. Hoge et al. (2013)
  7. Instant relaxation benefits – While most studies focused on 6- to 7-week programs, just 10 minutes of meditation of loving-kindness has a measurable relaxing effect, as demonstrated by activity in the parasympathetic nervous system and slower respiration (Law 2011, 2011).

You can do the meditation alone, but it is worth thinking about the phrases you will use. Although phrases such as “May I feel safe,” “be happy,” and “be healthy” are the most common, you can use phrases that resonate with you to personalize your statements. Keep them to a few and simple to easily repeat them. Here are some ideas:

  • May I be Happy
  • May I be peaceful
  • May I be well
  • May I live with ease
  • May I find deep joy
  • May I be pain-free
  • May I be free of harm
  • May I be free from suffering
  • May I feel safe

To start

Sit down on a chair or cushion to find a comfortable position. Relax your eyes and listen to your breathing. George Langenberg suggests that you imagine yourself sitting next to someone or something that embodies love and kindness. This could be a spiritual teacher, pet, or even a favorite tree.

To yourself

Bring your attention inwards. Visualize yourself in your mind’s eyes. Be aware of who you are. Tashi Dawa teaches in her class, “Saturate your awareness with awareness.”

Depending on how much time you have, repeat your chosen phrases two to five more times. Note how many times you repeat the phrase, and do the same for everyone.

  • May I be Happy
  • May I be peaceful
  • May I be well

Do not rush through repetitions. Talk slowly and carefully, but feel the emotion!

You can gently bring your focus back to the words if you notice other thoughts.

You might find it difficult to express your love to yourself. If this is the case, you can think of a small act of kindness that you have done. Then, you can say the words from this place. You can also think of yourself as a child and wish the child well.

You are close to someone

Consider someone close to you, someone you share your lives with – a partner, a child, a friend – someone you care about. Imagine them sitting in front of you. Let that image grow rich. No matter where they may be in real life, you can speak to them using your preferred phrases as if they were in addition to that.

  • Happy Birthday!
  • Peace, may you be!
  • All the best to you

After repeating these phrases several times, you can let the person get up and walk away.

Someone neutral

Next, think about someone with who you feel neutral feelings. You could think of someone you meet in your neighborhood or someone who works at your local shop. Please place them in front of your face. Talk to them.

  • Happy Birthday!
  • Peace, may you be!
  • All the best to you

Once you’re done, get up and let the person go. Regain your breath.

Negative feelings towards someone

Imagine a person that you are unhappy with or have negative memories of. A person you have had a dispute with, a long-standing grudge, or a moment of disrespect. This could be your ex-partner, partner, sibling, or colleague. This cannot be easy. If the feelings are too strong or raw, you should choose someone who is not your partner or a sibling.

Talk as if they are directly in front of your face and speak directly to you. Continue repeating these phrases:

  • Happy Birthday!
  • Peace, may you be!
  • All the best to you

If the person walks away, you can return to yourself by bringing your hands to your heart or belly.

 

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