Terrorism creates agony, anguish, despair, and confusion. It is a morbid reminder of humanity’s frailties. Yet, more than ever, these are the moments when loving-kindness meditation helps the most. A Buddhist meditation, loving-kindness helps bring positive attitudinal change, transforming hatred, freeing pain, and changing old habituated negative patterns of the mind.
There are a few ways to experience loving-kindness meditation:
– Visualization: Use a mental image of the person you are sending loving-kindness to.
– Reflection: Think of the positive traits of this person. Use an affirmation or positive statement.
– Auditory: Repeat an internalized mantra or phrase such as loving-kindness.
Start with yourself. Send loving acceptance to yourself. Do not judge. Simply observe any resistance, if present. Bring your breath and mind back to sending loving-kindness to yourself.
Next, send loving-kindness to your beloved, close family members or friends. Move on to a neutral person, somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards. Finally, send loving-kindness to a hostile person, someone you are currently having difficulty with.
Loving-kindness is a heart meditation and provides the essential balance to support your insight meditation practice. Applying the practice to daily life is a matter of directing a friendly attitude and having openness toward everybody you relate to, without discrimination.