We must all practice loving-kindness mindfulness in this world toward ourselves, toward others and especially to the unwanted, painful experiences in our life.
Not everything in life is going to be pleasant and rosy. Everyone needs to understand this from as early as a time in your life as you can.
When you are loving and kind, you learn to accept yourself and others in the form of acceptance, freedom, happiness and calmness. We all need these to achieve greater peace in our lives.
Loving-Kindness mindfulness is unconditional. When you love or are kind in this sense it means that there are no personal agendas, nothing attached to it, and accepts all experiences pleasant and unpleasant.
Embracing the present moment and current experiences is what loving-kindness mindfulness wants you to achieve. This allows you to take even unwanted and painful memories and make them more comprehensible by providing responses that are not automatic or habitual and can lead to more problems and suffering.
This type of mindfulness can help if you have been hurt in your childhood or felt betrayal. It is also helpful if you live with fear in your life. Many of our automatic reactions are based on fear or of being hurt or mistreated and can actually make the situation worse.
Loving-kindness mindfulness allows you to:
- Accept reality of the present moment including positive AND negative emotional responses
- Take control of external situations, or internal reactions, and enables you to not allow yourself to accept your own automatic and habitual responses
- Guard your mind from being caught up in and participating in habitual and unhelpful responses based on reactions to past hurts
- Guard yourself from being consumed by fear and self-defense and instead allowing yourself clear perception, effective reasoning and wise choices
- Help you to care of yourself and respond compassionately to others. Mindfulness allows you to quit thinking defensively or putting up more self-protective barriers when it’s really not necessary.
The best way to feel and experience kindness is by imagining a person or animal that gives you feelings of kindness. Picture yourself in a peaceful, quiet setting with this person or animal and how your body changes and if you feel any internal sensations of kindness.
If a person or animal doesn’t work try something else. Try focusing on anything that gives you a sense of warmth and kindness. For instance, who doesn’t love bunny rabbits? There is not a hurtful bone in a bunny rabbit and all you can help think about is how warm and kind that bunny can be.
Try to see if you can bring yourself to feel safety and comfort. Experience the feelings of warmth and kindness that go with those thoughts. Don’t force feelings upon yourself that aren’t there.
You don’t want to overdo it and end up feeling hopeless. This has to be a natural progression of feelings.
Practice loving-kindness Mindfulness and it will come naturally to you after a while. Open your heart and mind to all your senses. For some it will come quickly and others it may take a while. Allow yourself the time to see how this form of Mindfulness can open your mind and let you experience loving and kindness in your life.
How We Can Help
Here at Meditation Stepping Stones, our meditation classes assist you with learning to be mindful in your life. You can learn more about our classes below.
Our current classes:
Loving-Kindness – Loving-Kindness meditation is available at our Meditate Madison studio and will be an online practice class soon. The full Loving-Kindness 8-week instruction class is available with our monthly video class subscription.
For the online classes, you must be a member of our Meditation Stepping Stones Facebook Group. The class is streamed live to the group and is available for 48 hours.
Personal Sessions – The personal sessions will run similarly as well except it will be only you and myself meeting. You will have more time to ask questions, work intimately together on goals, right technique, receive worksheets and other easy assignments to help you grow in your meditation practice.
Access our Meditation Pebbles Podcast for easy five minute practices you can do easily.
If you have further questions, use the contact form here on the website. I’m happy to answer any questions may have.
We have a Facebook Group you could join so you can ask questions, share with others and receive support.
If you live in Madison, Wisconsin be sure to see our Facebook page for our new studio opening in April 2018.