Loving-Kindness Mindfulness Meditation
The Loving-Kindness Meditation this week is including ourselves and offering goodwill wishes to ourselves. By starting the Meditation by offering goodwill wishes to a friend or pet it helps to open the ‘Meta Muscle’. We then offer loving-kindness to both our friend and ourselves at the same time. This then makes it easier to offer Loving Kindness to ourselves.
During the Loving Kindness Meditation, we keep repeating phrases silently to help us offer loving kindness. The phrases that I work with are
- May you/we/I be safe
- May you/we/I be happy
- May you/we/I be healthy
- May you/we/I live with ease
I also ask the participants to observe the ‘tone of their voice’ especially when saying the phrases to themselves. Are they saying the phrases in a kind gentle voice or in a harsh, judgemental voice? This also helps them observe how they speak to themselves throughout the day when they make a simple mistake.
The benefit of the Loving Kindness exercise
By offering Loving Kindness to ourselves, it is opening the door into Self-Compassion which we explore next week in the class. Some participants who have a harsh ‘Inner Critic’ struggle to receive kindness from others and from themselves. By practising the Loving Kindness meditation, they can start to notice within their bodies how kindness feels. If they feel resistance to offer love and kindness to themselves, they come back to being aware of their breath.
Feedback from Loving Kindness for self & other
This week’s Loving kindness for yourself and others was really insightful. Geraldine was able to help me understand how something as simple as the way you talk to yourself can really improve your everyday way of dealing with life events. Keeping track of how you treat yourself is sometimes quite the challenge. However, with the Mindfulness Meditations that Geraldine has taught us, it has really helped me to actively watch how I treat and speak to myself. It is extraordinary how actively remembering to be loving and kind with yourself can be really useful when a situation doesn’t go to plan. I have absolutely loved this exercise. Geraldine is very patient, and she really helps you to understand why remembering to treat yourself and others with love and kindness can go a long way. Spreading love and kindness can be something one forgets to do in times of tension and stress. It is amazing what a difference it can make and how much lighter you feel afterwards!
The Observer/Undercurrent Model
We revisit the Observer/Undercurrent Meditation and this time, we focus on the Observer. It is the Observer that we train in Mindfulness. I ask the participants to notice their ‘attitude’ to what arises in their undercurrent (thoughts). Do they have a preference or dislike in what is arising? What is their attitude now when they notice they have become distracted? Do they gently guide themselves back to their Mindfulness support in a kind way or a harsh way?