A Beginner’s Loving-Kindness Practice

Follow this simple loving-kindness practice to open the heart and mind towards a greater sense of compassion.

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The loving-kindness practice is intended to incline both our hearts and our minds towards a greater sense of kindness and compassion, both to the world and to ourselves. By wishing well for others, this practice benefits our health and overall sense of well-being.

In this seven-minute practice, I will suggest a few phrases to follow along with. With time, you will be able to come up with your own phrases.

A Loving-Kindness Practice for Beginners

  1. Gently close the eyes if you feel comfortable doing that, or direct the eyes towards the floor while seated or lying down.
  2. Begin with a few deep breaths. Check in with where you’re starting this moment from, physically, emotionally, mentally.
  3. Consider a person in your life who is easy to care about. This could be a good friend, a partner, perhaps an animal. Imagine them sitting in front of you and looking into your eyes.
  4. Get a sense of your heart in this moment, and with intention say to this person, “May you be happy. May you be healthy in body and mind. May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May you be free from fear, the fear that keeps you stuck.”
  5. Again breathing in and breathing out, reconnecting with your heart.
  6. Now incline your heart and mind towards yourself and saying to yourself, “May I be happy. May I be healthy in body and mind. May I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May I be free from fear, the fear that keeps me stuck.”
  7. And now breathing and and breathing out, and considering a person in your life you don’t know too well. Perhaps the check-out person at your local market, or someone at work you’ve never spoken to.
  8. Connecting with your heart once again, and just like you did for the person who’s close to you saying now to them: “May you be happy. May you be healthy in body and mind. May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May you be free from fear, the fear that keeps you stuck.”
  9. And breathing in and out, now bringing to mind someone in your life who you’ve had difficulty with. Someone you’re frustrated, irritated or annoyed with.
  10. And imagine them sitting here, looking into your eyes and with the same intention and heartfulness that you had for the person who it was easy to care for, now saying to them:”May you be happy. May you be healthy in body and mind. May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May you be free from fear, the fear that keeps you stuck.”
  11. And now imagining, expanding this sense of heartfulness and intention throughout the entire world. All countries, all people.
  12. Saying to them: “May you be happy. May you be healthy in body and mind. May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May you be free from fear, the fear that keeps you stuck.”
  13. And breathing in and breathing out, as we end this practice gently do another mindful check-in. Get a sense of how you’re feeling now, without any judgements. What emotions are present? Is this mind busy or calm?
  14. Perhaps ending by thanking yourself, and all the people who you included in this practice,
  15. And when you’re ready, gently open your eyes.