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Be Kind to Yourself—Right Now

People often find some difficulty in caring for themselves, in receiving love, in believing they deserve to be happy.

To be kind to others, you need to start with yourself.

By Sharon Salzberg 

Imagine for a moment the amount of energy you expend brooding over the future, ruminating about the past, comparing yourself to others, judging yourself, worrying about what might happen next. That is a huge amount of energy. Now imagine all of that energy gathered in and returned to you. Underlying our usual patterns of self-preoccupation, stinging self-judgment, and fear is the universal, innate potential for love and awareness.

Loving kindness meditations point us back to a place within, where we can cultivate love and help it flourish. Developing care toward ourselves is the first objective, the foundation for later being able to include others in the sphere of kindness.

How to Do a Loving Kindness Meditation

This loving kindness practice involves silently repeating phrases that offer good qualities to oneself and to others.

You can start by taking delight in your own goodness—calling to mind things you have done out of good-heartedness, and rejoicing in those memories to celebrate the potential for goodness we all share.
Silently recite phrases that reflect what we wish most deeply for ourselves in an enduring way. Traditional phrases are:
• May I live in safety.
• May I have mental happiness (peace, joy).
• May I have physical happiness (health, freedom from pain).
• May I live with ease.
Repeat the phrases with enough space and silence between so they fall into a rhythm that is pleasing to you. Direct your attention to one phrase at a time. Read More

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