The practice of loving-kindness can knit us together.
Loving-kindness is an ancient spiritual practice. As Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield says, “Love and compassion are not the possession of any group or religious system. They are woven into our human spirit.”
I want to share with you a very simple loving-kindness meditation which the Dalai Lama teaches:
As you breathe in – cherish yourself.If you find it difficult to cherish yourself, lay a hand gently on your heart as you do this meditation.
As you breathe out – cherish all beings
This is my back-pocket meditation. It’s the one I pull out at odd moments during the day. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning, or when I’m waiting for the water to run hot in the shower; when I stand at the window looking out at the rain, or walk under tall trees. Breathing in, I cherish myself; breathing out, I cherish all beings.
It’s simple. But it can transform life.
This meditation will make you happier, especially if you make it a daily practice. As your heart’s capacity for love and kindness grows, you’ll find a great fullness of being, and discover a warm kinship with all beings.
Mary Jaksch is a Zen Master and writer. Read more on her blog Goodlife ZEN and join her free Virtual Zen Retreat The Miracle of Kindness.