Meditation is like eating salad – everyone seems to agree you should do it, but most of us don’t. Part of the hurdle is that it seems to require a regular practice, which is much more daunting than a one-time effort. Committing 10-20 minutes today is one thing; committing 10-20 minutes every day forever is something that few of us are willing to undertake.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have recently started a 10-minute-per-morning mindfulness meditation practice. Also in the interest of full disclosure, this isn’t the first time I’ve started a meditation practice. I can only assume it won’t be the last.
But for this project my plan is to do only occasional meditations, no more than one per week. Today’s will be loving-kindness meditation.
There are lots of descriptions of how to do this meditation, so if you don’t connect with the one below, feel free to find your own. I like to keep mine very simple. I start with a person for whom it’s easy to feel loving-kindness, and think:
- May you be happy.
- May you be healthy.
- May you be safe.
- May you feel peace.
If you haven’t done this before, it’s important to think the words slowly, really savor them, and try to generate a genuine feeling of love and compassion. Then I move on to someone who generates slightly less positive feelings in me, and repeat. I keep going until I can generate those feelings of love and compassion for someone with whom I’m currently struggling. I think it’s important to get yourself in there as well, wherever makes sense for you.