This meditation technique helps evoke a state of love and kindness towards self and others, through the use of breath, visualization, and affirmations.
This meditation can help shift your vibration from fear based thinking (the mind) into heart based feeling (the heart).
"Metta is the ability to embrace all parts of ourselves, as well as all parts of the world. Practicing metta illuminates our inner integrity because it relieves us of the need to deny different aspects of ourselves. We can open to everything with the healing force of love. When we feel love, our mind is expansive and open enough to include the entirety of life in full awareness, both its pleasures and its pains" ( Lovingkindness, Sharon Salzberg).
Below are steps for a self-guided practice as well as a guided meditation recording.
Find a comfortable posture
You could be seated or lying down for this meditation. The key is to find comfort in the physical body so you are able to drop into the practice. I recommend using props to support the body. A cushion underneath your seat, or a bolster underneath your knees if you are lying down. If you don't have yoga props at home you can use any household items (couch pillows or blankets work well).
If it is comfortable for you to close your eyes, please do. If not you can soften the gaze down on the floor. Take 3 cleansing breaths to begin arriving in the body. Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
Do a bief scan of the physical body, notice any tension, restriction or tightness. Make any final adjustments to seek comfort. Find length in the spine, soften the shoulders away from the ears, lengthen through the back of the neck.
Noticing your inner world
Begin to notice what came with you to your practice. Any mind patterns or stories, emotions, feelings, notice the quality of your energy. Observing what is here without judgment or any needing to attach a meaning to what is here, as best as you can.
Opening the heart space
Notice your heart space, does it feel closed or open? Light or heavy? Take 3 cleaning breaths, breathing into the heart space. Inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. Then allow the breath to rest at its natural state, breathing in and out of the nostrils.
Visualization & affirmations
For this part of the meditation you will bring to mind the below beings one at a time. Visualizing them sitting in front of you, and repeating in your mind's eye the below affirmations patiently and intentionally.
Bringing to mind (one at a time):
Someone you love
Someone who loves you
A teacher or mentor
Someone who challenges you
Sharing these words with them (repeating each phrase as many times as desired):
May you be safe, and free from inner and outer harm
May you feel healthy in your body and mind
May your heart open to giving and receiving love
May your soul find peace and contentment
You may close however feels best for you. I enjoy bringing my palms over my heart and chanting Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (peace, peace, peace).
You can customize this meditation to fit what it is you are looking for. If you are struggling with loving yourself perhaps focusing on sending this loving kindness to yourself. If you are struggling to meet a particular being in your heart space, maybe focusing on sending them loving-kindness. If you miss a being who has left their body, bring them to mind and send them this love. The affirmations/words I shared above are also optional. If those don't land with you, you can swap them out for other loving-kindness words you would like to share.
My point being this does not have to look any particular way. Tune in and see what it is you are needing with this practice and trust that. And if you don't know where to start, try starting with the free guided meditation that I have offered below.
Guided Loving-kindness Meditation -- Enjoy!
Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for practicing.