Mind & Body Wellness: How to Do Loving Kindness Meditation

loving kindness meditation technique buddhism mindfulness metta
loving kindness meditation

My religion is kindness.
- The Dalai Lama

Loving Kindness Meditation

We resonate with the suffering of others because we are interconnected. If you become a center of loving-kindness in this moment, then the world has a new sphere of love and kindness it was missing the moment before. This will benefit you and it will benefit others.

The intention in this practice is not to fix anybody, but rather you are simply holding people in loving awareness, honoring them, wishing them well, and opening to the experiences of their pain through kindness, compassion, and acceptance.

1. Sit and center yourself in your posture and breathing.

2. From your heart invite feelings of love and kindness to radiate from within until they fill your whole being. To help cultivate this unconditional love, you can imagine an infant, pet, teacher, family member, or friend. Or you can see yourself as a small, innocent child cradled in a loving mother or father’s arms.

3. See an image of yourself as you are now in front of you, extend your feelings of loving kindness from your heart to the heart of your image and say the following words:

May I be happy;
May I be at peace;
May I feel ease;
May I be free.

When you have established yourself as a radiating center of loving-kindness repeat this process for the following people:

  • A close family member or friend
  • A neutral person (someone you may or may not know, but have no strong feelings for such as the cashier at the grocery store)
  • A difficult person who you struggle to get along with 

4. Bring up a mental image of each person. See yourself directing feelings of love and kindness towards them. Energetically wrap each person in the love you hold in your heart. See the other person smiling back at you. Say the loving-kindness prayer for them:

May you be happy;
May you be at peace;
May you feel ease;
May you be free.

5. Hold all people equally in your heart: you, close friend or family member, neutral person, and difficult person. Extend loving-kindness to this circle of people. Like a gigantic wave see this love extend out into your the community, country, earth, and then the whole universe. Say the following words:

May all beings be happy;
May all beings be at peace;
May all beings feel ease;
May all beings be free.

To have me facilitate a workshop or retreat on meditation and mindfulness, visit my Web site by clicking here. 

Adapted from Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.


  1. brilliant - and i always admire how you take on such huge things - like metta practice! i wouldn't begin to know how, yet here you distill it and maintain all of its significant points.
    i have a great article of sharon salzberg's saved -

  2. thank you, it has been a long time since i have enjoyed this practice.
    i believe it is time to do this again.


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