Practice Loving Kindness Meditation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Update on November 24, 2020 : Published on June 3, 2020
Loving Kindness Meditation

According to a studyLoving Kindness Meditation is a very popular meditation technique that is practiced to welcome compassion in our lives along with other benefits such as, improving interpersonal relationships, constructing feelings of empathy, sympathy, and altruism, and dealing with overwhelming emotions.

With so much chaos going in our lives and mind, we all wish to settle it for once and for all. There are many ways to achieve it but picking the best one is a daunting task in itself. Well, not anymore, Calm Sage is sharing with you the best intervention that will help you settle your mind and improve your mental wellness. The cherry on the cake is that this practice is compassion-based, making its impact even powerful.

Also Read: Guide Me: Which Type Of Meditation Technique Is Right For Me?

So, the practice that we are suggesting here is known as Loving Kindness Meditation(LKM).

Additionally, this practice makes us feel calmer and more peaceful from within ourselves, and also helps us to practice forgiveness and let go of rumination.

So let us see how we can practice Loving Kindness meditation…

Here is a step-by-step guide for you to practice Loving Kindness Meditation

How to Practice Loving Kindness Meditation(LKM):

For your better understanding, we have divided these steps into five phases. You can start by working with just the first phase or can have more than five phases in your LKM.

Also Read:  Common Meditation Mistakes That You Need To Avoid Now

So, let us start…

Loving Kindness Meditation

Phase I: Loving Kindness Meditation For Self

Find yourself a quiet and comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to feel grounded and focus on the energy flowing in you.

Bring your focus to yourself and your feelings of strength and confidence.

Acknowledge the love that you feel in your heart for yourself, knowing that you are just fine- just the way you are.

When you feel inner peace, just breathe in feelings of love and exhale your tensions to continue further.

Now close your eyes and repeat three or four reassuring and positive phrases to yourself. Like-

“May I be happy”

“May I be peaceful”

“May I be free from pain”

“May I be healthy and strong”

While using these places you can also imagine a positive environment or image in your mind that radiates positivity and love. You can make use of images like a shining sun, a bright star, or a beautiful heart.

You can also create your own phrases and use them.

If you feel distracted at any moment just gently pay attention back to the feelings of loving-kindness. Embrace the feelings in soap yourself into them.

Now that you have meditated to love yourself time to shift your focus to the loved ones in your life.

Also Read: Metta Meditation: A Guide for Beginners to LKM

Phase II: Loving Kindness Meditation For A Loved One

Imagine that the person you adore the most is right there with you. Doesn’t it feel good to be with them? Try and feel the love emanating from them. Extend your feelings of love, kindness, and gratitude towards them.

Repeat three to four reassuring phrases that will bring feelings of loving-kindness with you, such as,

“May you be happy”

“May you be free from pain”

“May you be peaceful”

“May your heart be filled with love and appreciation”

 *This will make your bond even stronger with the other person*

Phase III: Loving Kindness Meditation For Someone you are Neutral About

After extending the feelings of loving-kindness towards this one loved one in your life, you can extend it further. This time you can think of a person with whom you don’t have that strong of a connection.

Again, just focus on sending the message of love and peace to others. To expand the love in your heart and connect with others repeat the following phrases in your mind:

“May you feel happy and joyous”

“May you be peaceful”

“May your heart be filled with love and appreciation”

“May you be free from pain”

Remember if you get distracted at any point, it’s okay, just bring your focus back on these reassuring phrases and the person to whom you are directing them to.

*This will help you build feelings of positivity and better connection with the other person*

Phase IV: Loving Kindness Meditation For Someone you Don’t Gel up With

Think of a person with whom you have difficult relationships and feel hatred towards. Now, set yourself to extend your peace, calm, and positivity towards them.

Just think of that person, repeat the following phrases in your mind, and send your warm regards to that person:

“May you live with ease”

“May you be happy and joyous”

“May you be free from pain”

“May you be healthy and strong”

*This will help you cut out the feelings of hatred from your life and you will be able to find more peace in life*

Phase V: Loving Kindness Meditation For Everyone

At this final stage try to think of all the people we extended the feelings of warmth to, in the previous phases. And not just them, here we will focus on extending and expanding the love in our heart and connect with all the beings.

To send everyone the message of loving-kindness and spread peace around, repeat the following phrases in your mind:

“May everyone feel happy and joyous”

“May everyone be peaceful”

“May everyone’s heart be filled with love”

“May everyone be free from pain”

*This will help you connect better with the world and people around you*

Concluding Loving Kindness Meditation

Finally, when you feel your meditation is complete, open your eyes gently. Internalize the whole process and revisit the wonderful feelings that you just generated. Return to the feelings of loving-kindness by shifting your focus, just take a few deep breaths. Let those feelings of peace and positivity set in…

Additional Tips to DO Loving Kindness Meditation

Here are some other insightful points for you to refer and make your loving-kindness meditation level up:

  • You may start by receiving loving-kindness first, that is, using yourself as the sole subject, and gradually move forward.
  • You may first start by just focusing on and repeating the phrases. Later with time and regular practice you may bring visual images in play as well.
  • To make sure you remain focused, you can also set a timer of 15-minutes and practice loving-kindness meditation.
  • Feel free to create and use your own phrases. Just make sure that the essence of loving and kindness remains intact.

Now it’s time for you to practice compassion through loving-kindness meditation and create the ripples of love, spreading out like a burst of radiant and calming energy.

Benefits of Practicing Loving Kindness Meditation:

Loving, kindness, empathy, and gratitude are basic emotions that we direct towards others and enjoy the benefits of the same. Through loving-kindness meditation as well you can enjoy different benefits for your overall well being. This includes:

1. Loving-Kindness Meditation increases positive emotions like love, joy, pride, contentment, hope, awe, and more. It also decreases negative emotions and symptoms of illness (Fredrickson, 2008)

2. Loving-Kindness Meditation brings relief in migraine pain and also alleviates emotional tension related to it (Tonelli, 2014)

3. Patients with lower back pain who practiced Loving Kindness Meditation found reported relief in pain, anger, and psychological distress when compared with those who did not.

Key Takeaways

  • According to a study by Kearney (2013), depression and PTSD symptoms can also be reduced through a 12-week Loving Kindness Meditation course. Looking at Science, Gray matter volume also increases through Loving Kindness Meditation. Gray matter is a brain area related to emotional regulation.

4. Loving Kindness Meditation is also a marker of being more resilient. More interestingly, Loving Kindness Meditation enhances positive interpersonal attitudes, which make you a more helpful person.

5. Loving Kindness Meditation is also found to be an effective practice for increasing compassion, empathy, and emotional processing of the practitioner.

6. Loving Kindness Meditation is also linked with slowing down the biological aging. Where stress reduces the length of telomere (biological marker of aging), LKM is found to increase the length of telomere and slow down aging. It works especially well for the women.

Kang along with his colleagues found that through Loving Kindness Meditation you can have a decreased sense of bias towards others. Another study by Kok suggested a positive connection between LKM and social connection.

Well, the good news is that all these benefits of Loving Kindness Meditation can be cherished for long-term.

Loving kindness Meditation how to practice

If you try it for yourself do let us know in the comment section if you felt a little calmer or peaceful.

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About The Author

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is a content curator in the field of Mental Health. She is currently done Ph.D. in Psychology. Her aim is to light up the world with positive vibes through her words, her idea of life is ‘Grow through what you go through’. Apart from this, she is a big-time pet lover.

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