Share the love Sunday image

Let It Begin With Me

I’m a prayer. And with all that is crazy in the world right now I know that the one little bit I can control is me. So I pray. I pray for peace within me. I pray that I have the strength to love my enemies, because man that’s really hard sometimes. To have compassion and love for people that are purposefully hurting other people is hard. And so I pray. Because I really want to keep peace and love in my heart always.

I love to do lovingkindness meditations. Have you heard of it? It’s a Buddhist meditation that calls for love close in, with yourself, and then as you go on it extends further and further out to the world. Here’s an abbreviated sample of what one would look like. I’ll put a resource at the end that will give you a broader view.

Maybe put on some relaxing music, get comfortable and take some time to breathe and do this meditation.

You begin with yourself and this mantra:

May I be safe from inner and outer harm. May I be happy and peaceful. May I be healthy and strong. May I take care of myself joyfully.

Then you think of someone who has been really good to you; a spiritual mentor or good friend.

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

The next person you’re going to think of is a dearly beloved person, someone you feel very warmly toward.

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

Watch them in your mind’s eye and see them receiving your well-wishes. If strong emotions of love come up, take a moment and feel them.

The next person that we are going to extend our circle of lovingkindness to is a neutral person. This is someone that you neither particularly like or dislike. Someone like the your next door neighbor’s gardener or a waitress at your favorite eatery. Holding a picture of that person in your mind, we say:

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

See if you can picture that person receiving this lovingkindness from you.

We next choose to open our hearts and extend lovingkindness to the difficult person. It is suggested that you don’t pick THE most difficult person in your life or the person that has hurt you the most. For now, just choose someone that is difficult or annoying to you. This also isn’t condoning someone’s bad behavior – you’re not saying that what they’ve done to you is okay. What you are saying is that you are a human being with the same desires for safety and happiness as everyone else. That we are all connected and as such, you are worthy of love. If you find that you’re having negative feelings, push through them and continue your feelings of lovingkindness.

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

Next we send lovingkindness to all sentient beings everywhere without exception or exclusion. Maybe begin by thinking about people in places that you’ve traveled or places that you want to travel. People that you’ve heard about on the news, good and bad.

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

May you be safe from inner and outer harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you take care of yourself joyfully.

Now the meditation is finished. Try to keep the positive feelings of lovingkindness with you. If someone angers you during your day you can say, May I be happy and peaceful a few times and then extend that to the other person, may you be happy and peaceful.

If you’d like an extended, guided version of a lovingkindness meditation, I’m offering it right now  to people who sign up to my coaching email list. Click here to do that and after you’re signed up you’ll be taken to a page on my website to listen to the meditation – it’s got beautiful music and my voice! What could be better?

P.S. I love that I began this post with the sentence, “I am a prayer,” by which I meant pray-er, but I also believe that I’m a prayer. Love that.

I would really love to know how you felt after doing the meditation!

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