Loving-Kindness Meditation for Your Loved Ones

This loving-kindness practice explores how to tap into the love you already have and send it out to those you care about.

So, during week one, my brother from another mother Andy Gonzalez taught you all a loving-kindness practice for the self. Today we’re going to do a loving-kindness practice for our loved ones.

Loving-Kindness Meditation for Your Loved Ones

Watch the video:

Listen to the practice:

Loving-Kindness Meditation for Your Loved Ones

  • 6:24

Read the practice:

1. Let’s move to the edge of our seats where we can be upright, making sure our back, neck and head are aligned. Feet grounded, I now invite you to close your eyes. Leaving them open is OK, too.

2.Let’s take a couple deep breaths together to start off. All of the breathing we’ll be doing is in and out through the nose. So, everyone, inhale long, slow and deep through your nose, filling your stomach up like it’s a balloon. And exhale … push all that air out, push it out. Inhale deep again, with a long, slow, deep breath, filling your stomach up with air. And exhale, push all that air all the way out.

3. Now just touch in with whatever is a nice, natural breathing pace for yourself. This doesn’t require any effort—just nice and easy. Simply make sure you’re breathing in and out through your nose.

4. Let’s imagine now, all the people we love, whether it’s our family or friends. It doesn’t matter if these people are alive or have passed away—love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter how far away they may live from you either.

5. Keeping in mind all these people you love, send love to them with your breath. Whatever that looks and feels like to you. Visualize and feel that action with every breath: you are sending love to your loved ones with each breath.

6. As in life, distractions will arise here, too. But whether it’s a thought or a sound, whatever the distraction, don’t ever beat yourself up. Just acknowledge your distraction and then redirect yourself back to the breath. Once again, we’re sending love to our loved ones with our breath—whatever that looks and feels like to you, see and feel that.

7. Once again, using your imagination, see and feel yourself sending love to your loved ones with the breath. No matter how far away these people are from you, or if they’re living or not, love knows no boundaries.

8. If a distraction grabs you, don’t beat yourself up. Just acknowledge the distraction and come back to your breath. With the loving-kindness practice, it’s all about extending the time that we can keep our minds focused. And once again, we’re focused on sending love to our loved ones with the breath—that’s all we’re focused on.

9. Now let’s slowly bring ourselves away from the breath and back to our bodies. Start off by just wiggling your toes and fingers, rolling your ankles and wrists. Do a neck roll both ways just to stretch your neck out. And if your eyes were closed, now’s the time to slowly blink your eyes open. Let’s come back to our senses.

So that was a loving-kindness practice for your loved ones. I’d like you to work on some homework this week: it requires just a few minutes each morning and each night before you go to bed. At those times, go back into that breathing we were doing and really focus on sending love to your loved ones. It doesn’t matter if they’re in your life right now, or in your household; it doesn’t matter how far away they live from you, or even if they’re living or not. Love knows no boundaries. Send them some love.

GROW YOUR MEDITATION PRACTICE


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About the author

Atman Smith

Atman is a co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation. He served as Director of Youth Programming for ten years, Director of Fundraising for five years, and currently serves as the Director of Development. Since 2001, he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to a diverse population including underserved and high-risk youth in Baltimore City Public Schools, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.

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