HMC Day 5: Loving Kindness

Holiday Meditation Challenge Day 5

This is one of my favorite meditations.

A loving kindness meditation is about sending warmth and love into the world and toward yourself. It’s a way of cultivating compassion, which over the long run is a key component to feeling happy, balanced and at peace.

It’s sort of a variant of mantra meditation, which we will explore in more depth soon. In loving kindness meditation, you repeat the same series of phrases over and over, gently shifting your focus to different individuals or populations as you go. If you are a tough self-critic, you may want to put yourself last in order and work up to sending the love your way. If you have trouble with others (or with a specific person!) save them for last.

I’ll put a typical script here:

May you be well

May you have peace

May you be kind to yourself

May you be joyful

May you be safe and at ease

You might first think about someone you love very much and have no problem wishing well, like a child. Then, shift attention to a neutral person, maybe a neighbor, then to someone with whom you don’t always agree, then to someone who really tends to irritate you… then to your neighborhood, your city, the world, and yourself.

This is a fantastic exploration of the loving kindness meditation by Jack Kornfield:


Practice loving kindness meditation for at least 5 minutes.

Try this:

>> Keep in mind that 5 minutes goes really quickly for this one. We will return to it later in the challenge and devote more time to it; in my opinion, it’s a little more effective if you can slow it down and sit for longer.

>> If you’re up for more, Tara Brach’s 12-minute version is here:

**If you missed the introductory post, welcome to the Holiday Meditation Challenge! If you’d like a summary of each week’s assignments in e-mail form so you can go back to them anytime, click here: