Loving-kindness and compassion protect us, and protect others as well. The Buddha taught that these qualities spontaneously bring benefit, just like a wish-fulfilling jewel, and that if our minds are filled with aggression and anger, not only will we be unable to help ourselves, we will not be able to help anyone else either. We will not be able to benefit ourselves in this life or in future lives.
Here are few ways in which we can practice loving kindness :
- Find Your Seat – Find a comfortable seated posture with your spine lengthened. You can begin by focusing on your breath for a few minutes to help quite the mind.
- Focus on Self – To begin, we send loving energy to ourselves by mentally repeating the following phrases:
- May I be happy and peaceful.
- May my body be healthy and strong.
- May I be safe and protected.
- May I live with ease and joy.
3. Someone you Love – Now, think of someone you love very much, and think of something you really like about that person. Then repeat the same phrases to person.
- May you be happy and peaceful.
- May your body be healthy and strong.
- May you be safe and protected.
- May love live with ease and joy.
4. An Acquaintance – Think of an acquaintance or someone you know but not very well. Think of something you appreciate about that person. Repeat the phrases to that person.
5. Hurt/Dislike – Think of someone who has hurt you, or someone who you do not particularly like. Think of one positive quality of that person if you can. Then repeat the same phrases to that person.
6. For all Beings – To end this meditation, you can repeat the same phrases for all beings.
It is very helpful to be even-minded and try to be as balanced as we can in our minds and attitude when we go about trying to help the world. We should definitely try to help the world by trying to bring as much wisdom and as many skillful means as we can. We should have all the enthusiasm we can muster to do this, but we should be very open and relaxed in our minds, not so focused on the result. Because when we bring all the effort we can into trying to establish certain forms of benefit, sometimes we will be able to accomplish the result we desire, but sometimes that result will not come about.