Have you ever had this nice, warm and fuzzy feeling from getting a big hug or from just being with family, a good friend or some you love? Well, good news. You don't need anyone else to create this feeling. Sitting down and doing 10 minutes of metta (lovingkindness) meditation, might be enough!
"With a loving heart as the background, all that we attempt, all that we encounter will open and flow easily." (Jack Kornfield)
Lovingkindess or metta meditation, helps us to create a feeling of happiness which doesn't depend on any external circumstances.
So here is how to do it (adjusted from Jack Kornfield)
Step 1: Set up
Sit comfortably. Let your body rest and be relaxed. Let your heart be soft. Let go of any plans or preoccupations. Breathe gently.
Step 2: Start with yourself
Start reciting inwardly the following tradition phrases towards your own well-being. You begin with yourself because only if we love ourselves we can truly love other.
"May I be happy,
May I be safe,
May I be healthy,
May I be at ease."
Step 3: Keep going and visualize
As you repeat the phrases, picture yourself happy, safe, healthy. How does that feel? Where are you? What are you doing? It doesn't matter if you are currently feeling like that. By visualizing we are inviting the feeling of well-being into our bodies and minds. Then start to repeat the phrases over and over again.
Perhaps you will find it easier to picture yourself as a young and beloved child. If this doesn't work, you can pick someone else; someone you deeply love and care for and who cares for you. It can be a parent or partner, or if these evoke complicated feelings, you can also choose a pet, or a figure - real or imaginative which inspires you (and which you don't have to know personally); examples are the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, the Buddha or a Guardian angel.
Adjust the words and the images in any way that works for you!
This meditation can feel mechanical and awkward at times. It can also bring up feelings contrary to loving kindness, feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it is especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself, allowing whatever arises to be received in a spirit of friendliness and kind affection