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Week 7 formal practice: Lovingkindness Meditation


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Posted

The central theme of week 7: Cultivating a regular practice infused with kindness and compassion

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us "universe" a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and emotions as something separated from the rest....a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." 

Albert Einstein

 

In this weeks' formal practice - the loving kindness meditation -, we include every living being in our good wishes. Everyone - including ourselves, people we have troubles with and people we will never meet. Some days this might be harder than others. Some days the main challenge might be to with well to ourselves when the waves of self-criticism and the all too popular "not good enough" or "who do you think you are" thoughts have power over us. Don't let them shame us, we all deserve well wishes. On other days it might be hard to feel warmth towards people we have troubles with. What works for me in those cases is a thought I heard first from Jack Kornfield. It goes something like this: "Wish for the people you have troubles with to be happy because if they would be truly happy, they'd be way easier to deal with."

 

Please share your experiences with the practise here.

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Borahbestie
Posted

I've used this meditation long before I started mbsr. It makes people easier to deal with. At least that's the result I found. I really struggle with my dad. But it was always easier to deal with him after I wished him to he safe, healthy, happy, and free from suffering. And I'd always start with this phrase, just as everyone wants to be happy and free from suffering, may my dad be content and free from suffering. It helped so much!!! So I love this meditation. I just like doing it without a recording best. But awesome practice to focus on!

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Posted

I agree with the above posts.  We all deserve happiness and we’ll being.  Wishing this for people we are not getting along with is difficult but I still do it.  I also try to pray for them and me to have a better communication so that we can develop a healthy relationship.  

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Posted

So, I've decided to spend a few more days on week 7. I feel I have more to learn yet, and I'm gonna try just sitting here for now... sigh

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Udumbara
Posted

Hello everyone, I’m also taking another week with this,  I’m finding the loving kindness meditation challenging so it’s worth looking at.  Grateful that we can go at our own pace :)

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Udumbara
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I have a lot of trouble with the loving kindness meditation.  Sending love to loved ones is easy but even imagining receiving it from them is hard.  I realise that I have a lot of walls up around me and tears come to my eyes with the weight of keeping them up.  It’s even hard to wish these things for myself.  It’s relatively easy to send love and good wishes to those I don’t know very well but challenging to do that to those who have caused  great pain.  Even though I’m not saying it aloud the energy of it is like gritting my teeth and probably  they wouldn’t want to be receding this kind of energy.  I have a lot of work to do.

Today in the loving kindness mediation I was reflecting on sending this energy to all plants and animals and how animals also harm other animals for survival but it’s still easy to send this love to them, yet it’s so hard to send love to those whose actions have deeply affected me.  I’m aware that because of my experiences with these people that it’s hard also to feel that I’m worthy of love and to send it to myself.  I might be on week 7 for months! :)

I was also reflecting that probably the people whose actions have been so hard for me and contribute to lack of self love probably are not able to send themselves love either and have probably been hurt by others too.  While I still don’t feel able to whole heartedly send them good wishes a space is opening for understanding and compassion for them.  This is beneficial.  Can I be ok with my flaws too?

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CRMcCann
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I'm having to be very kind to myself this week, as I only got half the work done for week 7, and will have to complete it today and do another week of being kind to myself.  I think it's good for me to practice it again.

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hdanielsuk
Posted

I have practised this before (this is used also in RO-DBT)- and it was very hard at first, however, it does get easier over time.

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waihong
Posted

My basis for loving kindness practice is always instinctively about letting go. To me it's the loving kindness in the purest form, without any action or attachment to it. When we are able let go, our heart is actually quite unimaginable and nothing is bigger than it for it to embrace. Once in a while, at the right moment, this loving kindness literally breaks out in an unexpected form/way to show you what it can do. It's pretty amazing in a reserved way of speaking.

And I must say, you have it in you as well. Just let it go for it to come out. No need to remove your thoughts or what is in your mind, just stay open to your heart in whatever states it is in, in the present moment.

 

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waihong
Posted

If I were to word what is Self-Compassion, it would be "it's ok to be not ok". When we developed the clarity to see "all of ourselves", whether good or bad, in a non-judgemental way, we'll realized we are actually beautiful inside.

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mrperkins
Posted

I was amazed at how helpful loving kindness meditation was when I started practicing it about three or four months ago.  It really helped me get over some resentment about things WAY in the past.   The results truly were remarkable.

FYI I did not like the mountain meditation last week. To me it just seemed to busy.

Onward through the fog....

 

Mike

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Posted

I love this meditation, and hope to incorporate it more into my day-to-day practice.  So often the hardest people to love are the ones who need it most!

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deboflan
Posted

Loving Kindness practice is one of my favourites - I have used this before and it really hits home the power of wishing everyone loving kindness, even the people you may struggle with or who have upset you. I feel wonderful to include the people that I love but to those that may have stung me it does put into perspective that maybe they have been stung! And they need the love and kindness just as much. 

Also just as important is your self - to give is a wonderful thing so why should you not give love and kindness to yourself. The small things are the big things which is why I believe these words of loving kindness which can seem small at at the time can actually have a huge impact on your well being.

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