Loving Kindness

We all need to practice being kind, particularly to ourselves. It is only when we first reconnect with the infinite love that is our ground of being that we can extend that love to others through nonviolent actions. When we remember that we are love, we can truly wish even our enemies well. The Buddhist practice of metta, loving kindness, is a wonderful way to grow kindness for yourself and for others.

Begin by sitting in silence and finding the place of loving kindness within you. Then speak the following statements aloud:

May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.

May I be free of mental suffering or distress.

May I be happy.

May I be free of physical pain and suffering.

May I be healthy and strong.

May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease. [1]

Repeat these affirmations as many times as you wish. When you are ready, replace the “I” in each statement with someone else’s name. You might follow the sequence from the maitri (another word for loving kindness), gradually widening the flow of love to include: a beloved, a friend, an acquaintance, someone who has hurt you, and finally the whole universe.

By Richard Rohr