Personalize Your Loving-Kindness Meditation

Self-compassion is one of the greatest gifts you can offer yourself. Use this guide to craft loving-kindness phrases that feel meaningful for you.

Many of the traditional loving-kindness phrases used in meditation (May I be happy, May I be free from suffering…) have been handed down over centuries, so it’s not surprising they can be a bit hard to connect with. For this reason, we believe that it is important to find phrases that resonate. This is especially true when we want to generate feelings of loving-kindness for ourselves: What we say must feel authentic to have impact. 

The aim is to find language that evokes the attitude of loving-kindness and compassion. Here are some guidelines:

Phrases should be simple, clear, authentic, and kind. There should be no argument in the mind when we offer ourselves a loving-kindness phrase, only gratitude.

You don’t need to use “may I.” Loving-kindness phrases are wishes. “May I” is simply an invitation to incline the heart in a positive direction, meaning “If all the conditions would allow it to be so, then…” 

The phrases are like blessings. They are not positive affirmations (for example: “I’m becoming healthier every day”). We are simply cultivating good intentions, not pretending things are other than they are.

We are simply cultivating good intentions, not pretending things are other than they are.

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