If you haven’t tried a loving-kindness meditation, then you definitely should! The goal of this twenty minutes of meditation is to focus on reminding yourself that you deserve happiness and ease and that the same goes for your child, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone else in the world.

Here’s how you can practice a loving-kindness meditation:

  1. Find a comfortable position: Get comfortable and observe your next several breaths. The goal is to recognize how you’re feeling at this moment, instead of forcing yourself to feel a certain way.

  2. Picture your child: Think about what you wish most for your child and and repeat “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you live your life with ease.” in tune with your breathing.

  3. Continue repeating these wishes for your child so that you can be reminded of your deepest intentions.  

  4. After a few minutes, move on to yourself: Resist your inner judgement and offer up the same well wishes for yourself that you did for your child. Remember to stay in tune with your breathing.

  5. After a few more minutes, think about a close friend: Repeat the same praise process for this close friend who is completely positive in their relationship with you.

  6. Next you’ll want to focus on a neutral person: Extend these same well wishes to this person that you may not even know.

  7. Now you should think about a person in your life who you view as difficult: Ideally, this should be a person you have had a disagreement with or that you have a different perspective from. Extend the same well wishes for this person in a genuine manner.

  8. Now focus on your entire family: This will likely be the most lengthy section of your meditation. Go through the well wishes for your entire family, while keeping in tune with your breathing.

  9. Although this is optional, feel free to extend the same positive wishes to everyone in the world: This step should only be completed if you can do so in a positive manner. Additionally, it may be that some days you can complete this step easier than other days.

Source: “A Loving-Kindness Meditation to Cultivate Resilience”, Mindful, written by Mark Bertin, December 15, 2016