I’m Ali Smith from the Holistic Life Foundation. You’ve seen my other partners and brothers, Atman and Andy in the first three sessions: Andy started you all off with the loving-kindness practice for yourself. And Atman jumped in with the loving-kindness practice for your loved ones, and then finished up with the same practice for people who kind of piss you off.
Now, we’re going to dig into a loving-kindness practice for everyone and everything on the planet.
We’re all in this together. We’re connected to everyone and everything on this planet, whether we like it or not. And since we’re all in this together, wouldn’t it be great to raise the vibration a bit? The trick is, it’s going to have to come from all of us.
So, let’s practice sending love out to everyone and everything on the planet.
Loving-Kindness Meditation to Connect Us All
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Loving-Kindness Meditation to Connect Us All
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1. Go to a place where you can be nice and still—a place with minimal external distractions. Get yourself comfortable in your seat. If you want o lie down, lie down. Just make sure your back, head and neck are aligned—whatever position you decide to be in.
2.Take a couple deep breaths. I welcome you to close your eyes, if you feel comfortable doing so. If you want to leave your eyes open, that’s fine, too. Now let’s take a full inhale through our nose, sending that breath all the way down to our belly. And now exhale that breath all the way out. Inhale again deeply. And exhale that breath out.
3. Continue breathing on your own with a comfortable, relaxed pace. No effort required. Just let it flow naturally: in and out of your nose and down to your belly. With every exhale, try to push out any tension you might be holding in your body. Feel every breath—to ground you and put you in this present moment.
4. Start off by sending love to ourselves. Whatever love looks and feels like to you. Feel it flowing to yourself, from inside yourself, from outside yourself—just feel yourself filling up with love.
5. Once you’re full of that love, see if you can feel it erupting and spilling over out of you. Now direct that flow to all the people in your family. See and feel that love filling you up and then going out to them. Use your imagination: see it and feel it flowing in from you and out to all the people you love in your family.
6. Continuing to feel that love filling you up and overflowing out of you, imagine that love spreading out further. This time let’s direct that flow out to everyone in whatever city you’re in, whatever town you’re in. See the love flowing from you out to your family, then out to everyone who lives in your city or town. Feel the connection, feel the shared energy. Just feel that love flowing from within you and rippling out from there.
7. And now let’s move this energy further out—flowing love out to all the people in whichever country you’re in. See and feel that love filling you up, then filling up your family, then filling up those who are in your city or town, and then filling up everyone in your country. Not just the people we like, not just the people we love, not just the people in our family, but EVERYONE who plays a part in the makeup of our country—including people who may upset us or make us angry. Send a little extra love their way. Feel that love flowing from you to your family, to your city or town, and to everyone in the country you’re in.
8. Expand that love to include everyone on the planet. Let’s spread that love out to every place where there are people living on this planet: send them all love. That includes people who look like you and the people who don’t—just anyone you can imagine. See yourself filling up with love, then your family filling up with love, then those in your city or town, your country, and then everyone on the entire planet—see them all filling up with love.
9. See all of these people feeling that love. See them helping each other out. See everyone connecting as you fill up everyone on the planet with love.
10. Now send a little love to Mother Earth. The Earth gives us a place to live and sustains each and every one of us. Let’s take a moment to feel gratitude for what our planet provides us. Send love out to all the trees and plants—everything that grows on this planet.
11. From there we’ll go further still: let’s send love to everything that is living on this planet—all the animals living on the ground, in the trees, in the forest, in the wetlands, flying through the air. Send love to all the fish and mammals in the ocean. Use your imagination to send love into every corner of life on Earth.
12. Shifting again now, let’s include everyone and everything on the planet, and the planet itself, in our attention. Send as much love as you possibly can. See it filling you up and then filling up everything on the planet and the planet itself, too. We’re all interconnected. We all share the same air, we all share the same sunlight; we all share the same water; we all share the same earth. Feel that connection and send love to everyone and everything on the entire planet, and the planet, too.
13. And now let’s bring our awareness back to our bodies. Very slowly and gradually we’re going to start by wiggling our fingers and toes. Roll your wrists and ankles a bit. Move your head gently from side to side. And whenever you’re ready, if you have your eyes closed, slowly blink them open and come on back to your senses.
All right, so you’ve finished Holistic Life Foundation’s four weeks of practices, but we still have one last homework assignment for you: Whenever any troubling thought pops in your mind or you feel yourself getting down, remember your connection to everyone and everything on the planet. Fill yourself up with love and then just let that love spill over and flow outward, sending it out to everyone and everything (even the planet itself). Our connection to the Earth, along with every living thing and every single person on it, is what it’s all about.