The Power of Loving Kindness
Theresa Polley
September 6, 2023
September 20, 2023
Self Care

I was first exposed to Loving Kindness meditation almost 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve been able to make peace with the painful pieces of my past - relationships, choices and situations. Through the practice, I experienced a profound shift in my life. My consistent practice has allowed me to find patience for others in my life - friends, family, acquaintances and myself. I recognize they are doing the best that they can. Even though it might not seem like it!

Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you. ~Rachel Naomi Remen

Loving Kindness is derived from Buddhism and refers to a mental state of unselfish and unconditional kindness to all beings. Loving Kindness is about caring for others and wishing them well. By consistently practicing, feelings of hopelessness can be replaced with feelings of compassion for yourself and others.

Benefits of a Loving Kindness Practice

  • Life satisfaction
  • Pain management
  • Emotional regulation
  • Social anxiety management
  • Improved self compassion
  • Increased resilience
  • Decreased conflict and anger
  • Increased positive emotions and social connections

How to Practice Loving Kindness

  • Breathe in and out from the heart center.
  • Set an intention for your practice.
  • Think of a being (person or pet) in your life who you have an unconditional love for. 
  • Imagine this being and the feeling of unconditional love that begins to rise up as warmth in your body, a smile on your face or love in your heart.
  • Sink into this feeling.
  • Acknowledge any areas of mental blockage or numbness, self-judgment, self-hatred. Then drop beneath that to the place where we care for ourselves, where we want strength and health and safety for ourselves.

Continuing to breathe in and out, repeat each phrase.

  • May I be safe and protected.
  • May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
  • May I be healthy and strong.
  • May I be safe from harm.
  • May I be happy just as I am.
  • May I be peaceful with whatever is happening.

Next, move to a person who most invites the feeling of pure unconditional loving kindness, the love that does not depend on getting anything back. 

Repeat the phrases above with “May they…”

Now move to someone you have difficulty with–hostile feelings, resentments. Repeat the phrases for this person. If you have difficulty doing this, you can say before the phrases, “To the best of my ability I wish that you be….”Let the phrases spread through your whole body, mind, and heart. 

Repeat the phrases above with “May they…”

Finally, radiate loving kindness out to all beings. Stay in touch with the ember of warm, tender loving kindness at the center of your being, and begin to visualize or engender a felt sense of all living beings. May all living beings everywhere, on all planes of existence, known and unknown, be happy, be peaceful, be free from suffering.

Loving Kindness Journal Prompts

  • Did any distracting thoughts arise? If so, what were they?
  • Write more about your choice of person or pet who made you feel unconditional love. Share memories or experiences.
  • What did you feel in your body?
  • How did you feel when you sent loving thoughts to yourself? Deserving? Undeserving? Write and explore that further.
  • Write more about your choice of a person who you have difficulty with.
  • Were you able to wish them well?

Practice Loving Kindness at a Retreat

Join us for a Mindfulness & Healing Retreat or Love Yourself Retreat to find healing with our Loving Kindness Meditation.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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