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loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness meditation or Metta Bhavana meditation

Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation 

There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind.

Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, mindfulness, happiness, generosity, wellbeing
Loving kindness Metta meditation infographic

This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

Loving kindness Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, wellbeing, happiness, compassion
Loving kindness infographic

Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one.

This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for a count of ten.
Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet.

If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.
Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, happiness, positivity, mindfulness, generosity, wellbeing

Loving kindness informative graphic

Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

May I be happy 

May I be free from metal suffering and distress

May I be free of physical pain and suffering

May I be peaceful and at ease

Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone other than ourselves.

The Four Types of Persons to develop loving-kindness towards are 

  • A respected, beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher
  • A dearly beloved – which could be a close family member or friend
  • A neutral person – somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g a person who serves you in a shop
    A hostile person – someone you may be having difficulty with
  • Starting with yourself, then systematically sending loving-kindness from person to person in the above order will have the effect of breaking down the barriers between the four types of people and yourself. This will have the effect of breaking down the divisions within your own mind, the source of much of the conflict we experience
  • May (insert name) be happy
  • May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

    May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

    May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 
    Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, mindfulness, happiness, positivity, love, generosity, compassion

    Loving kindness graphic

    If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra. 

    For a more in depth analysis of loving kindness and it benefits click hear.

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    motivational quotes

    Quotes of Wisdom

    Quotes of Wisdom

    Quotes, quote, sayings, inspirational, words and sayings, motivational

    Quotes of Wisdom Aristotle

    “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” Aristotle

    Aristotle 384 – 322BC

    An Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. Along with Plato he is credited with being the father of western philosophy. His philosophies and theory’s, so vast and inclusive, that his contribution to western knowledge, philosophy and physical science has profoundly shaped the very world we know today.

    Quotes, quote, sayings, inspirational words, inspirational, motivational, words and sayings, words of wisdom
    Inspirational quote Martin Luther King Jr

    “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him” Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968

    Was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist becoming the most central figure in the American civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. An advocate of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent approach to change he was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. Most famously remembered for his “I have a dream” speech. In his later life he was to voice his concerns on poverty and the Vietnam war. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded after his death both the presidential medal of freedom and the congressional gold medal. Thousands of streets have been named and renamed after him and the Martin Luther King Day is observed as a public holiday every third Monday of January each year.

    Quotes, quote,words of wisdom, spirituality quotes, wisdom, motivational quotes, inspirational quote, inspirational words
    Motivational quote John Lennon

    “Count your age by friends, not years, count your life by smiles not tears” John Lennon

    John Lennon 1940 – 1980

    An English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist famously co-founding the Beatles, the most successful band in commercial history. After the Beatles split in the 1970’s John Lennon pursued a solo career. Moving from London to Manhattan in 1971 he was to criticise the Vietnam war and in doing so caused a lengthy battle with the Nixon administration for deportation proceedings. He removed himself from the spotlight and media gaze in 1975 to raise his child. He re-appeared again in 1980 with the release of a new album and was assassinated only the weeks later.

    Motivational quote, quotes, quote, sayings, quotes and sayings, words of wisdom, spirituality, inspiration
    Inspirational quote Leo Buscaglia

    “A single rose can be my garden, a single friend my world” Leo Buscaglia

    Leo Buscaglia 1924 – 1998

    Was an American author and motivational speaker, born in America to an Italian immigrant family, he would spend his early years growing up in Italy before returning to the US for schooling. After graduation Buscaglia joined the US Navy and participated in the Second World War. After realise from duties he returned to studying and entered the university of Southern California. After successfully gaining three degrees he was eventually employed as a professor. It was hear that a profound incident happened which made him question the human condition and the meaning of life, he then went on to set up a non-credited class entitled Love 1A, becoming the basis for his much loved 1972 book ‘Love’

    Motivational quotes, quote, quotes, words of wisdom,words and sayings, inspirational quotes, life quote, sayings
    Wisdom quote Jimi Hendrix

    “Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens” Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi Hendrix 1942 – 1970

    American rock guitarists, singer and songwriter developing his own unique style often imitated today. His mainstream career was short, only lasting a mere four years, however the impact Jimi Hendrix has had on popular music is second to none. Considered to be the greatest and most influential electric guitarist in history.

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    loving kindness Optimism

    The Seven Wonders of Life

    Meditation, mindfulness, self help, anxiety, wellbeing, compassion, generosity
    Seven wonders of life exercise to increase gratitude, compassion, wellbeing, peace and kindness

    The seven wonders of life is an idea I had as a Buddhist monk in northern Thailand, it was a way to try and get the lay people, usually foreign visiting tourists, to realise that there life was a wonderful and amazing life filled with wonders equal as those of the 7 wonders of the world. The seven wonders of life is a simple and quick exercise that can be done in just a few minutes but is more beneficial to spend some time pondering and exploring your very own seven wonders.

    Sometimes it’s easy to take life for granted, sometimes there seems so much going in in our lives that we forget to really appreciate what we already have. Our lives no matter how stressful and hectic should never be taken for granted and in this ever faster pace of life it’s more important than ever to take a moment and realise that we have some real joy and happiness in our lives.Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, compassion, loving kindness, positivity, spirituality

    Self confidence quote Dalai Lama

    There are some obvious real benefits to this idea, and if you really focus your attention on finding your very own seven wonders of life, I can promise, you will immediately start to feel good about life and may even start to smile, I’ve done this exercise many time with may types of people and it’s impossible to do this without feeling happiness and a sense of joy, and with regular practice you will really start to see a positive change in yourself.

    Self confidence, positivity, spirituality, spiritual, compassion, wellbeing,meditation, mindfulness
    Self confidence quote Nelson Mandela

    As a help I have listed below my seven wonders of life, to give you inspiration or a place to start. I’ve been practicing this for many years now and still find it rewarding and gratifying. Over the course of time some of the wonders on my list have been updated and changed, and that itself I find fascinating.

    1 Marley Moo 
    Marley is the name of the abandoned street dog I found in Portugal, sometimes affectionately known as Marley Moo, who i decided needed my love, in return I have been rewarded with the funniest, most mischievous, intelligent and a loyal companion I could have ever asked for, the pure unconditional love I receive every morning with a massive sloppy wet kiss all over my face is a magical moment filling me with such happiness and love. It also looks like Marley gets just as much out of it as me. This little guy has a gentle nature and loves walking and exploring, he doesn’t like the cold enjoys nothing better than a good snuggle under the blankets at bed time.

    2 Walking
    I find walking one of the most relaxing and peaceful ways to spend a few hours, walking with a companion such as a dog does make it even more enjoyable. The very art of walking is incredibly meditative and I find this very suitable to my mindset, very quickly I can still my mind and become at peace. Of course spending time in the great outdoors is wonderful form the exercise, Marley is a whippet cross with a lot of other things, and as such requires a lot of exercise, I average 11-12km a day every day. I’m very lucky I have the time and freedom to do this.

    3 Nature and the countryside
    The beauty of our planet still astonishes me every day, from the majesty of the mountains to the crashing stormy seas, the magical sunsets and sun rises, to the romantic rivers and streams, every drop of air we breath and every sight we see, what a place we really do live. The beauty of nature and the countryside happens to fall very nicely in with both my first two of walking and my Marley.

    4 Having freedom in my life
    Having the freedom I have at the moment is so amazing, it hasn’t always been like this and it won’t be like this for long but at the moment it is enabling me to do many wonderful things, it gives me time to meditate longer and deeper, walking my little Marley and spending time in the countryside my other three wonders of life. I consider myself to be incredible lucky at the moment to have this freedom and want to cherish it for as long as it may last.

    5 Friends
    I have deliberately left out family because unfortunately I don’t live near my family or in the same county, I have a brother I love dearly living in Malaysia and another in England, my folks also reside in England, I would love to see them more but are circumstances are as they are. Instead I have a few close friends who I cherish dearly, and enjoy there company immensely it fills me with such a joy and satisfaction to see the people I love succeed wether in love or life, to share there intimate moments in life is a special gift.

    Compassion, loving kindness, positivity, spirituality, spiritual, meditation, mindfulness
    Self confidence quote Nikos Kazantzakis

    6 Cooking good food
    This fits in very nicely with my last wonder, I love to cook for friends, I get such satisfaction in every aspect, from the preparation of the vegetables, making a mess of the kitchen as I go, the exploration of spices and taste, watching my friends faces to see if the faces it’s a triumph or disappointment. The conversations and silly games we play, great fun and real happiness.

    7 Being creative
    Generally I’m not very creative, I mean to say that I’m not that artistic, although a admit to having all the paints and brushes to create a whatever medium takes my fancy, I also can’t really hold a note on any instrument, or sing in tune, I do however love to write, I enjoy the challenge of the task and love the way it has an organic development from start to finish, a journey of discovery that all slowly comes together over a few days. I may not be a Shakespeare or a Wordsworth, I just love writing.

    Now a call to Acton. I really would like for you to share with me your seven wonders of life.

    Maybe it’s that first cup of coffee in the morning, owing your own business, painting or drawing, friends, family, freshly baked bread, driving your sports car, completing the crossword puzzle, playing cards, earring out, maybe going out on a date, your children, grandchildren, maybe it’s just making someone smile, or helping people, the hug you receive of you partner, running or playing sports, it could even be watching live music, or going to the cinema, maybe cuddling up on the sofa watching a movie or an open fire, how about being romantic or dressing smart, you may feel a great sense of happiness in looking good, eating ice cream, how about the weather feeling the sunshine on your skin or the rain on your face. There are so many more wonders in our lives it just takes a moment like today for you to realise yourself how wonderful your life truly is.

    If you post them in the comments below gradually over time we will gather a fascinating insight into what really makes us all happy. And I know the results will surprise you all.