Jack Kornfield on starting this time-honored, heart-opening follow.
In our tradition, individuals discover it tough to direct loving-kindness to themselves. We could really feel that we’re unworthy, or that it’s egotistical, or that we shouldn’t be completely happy when different persons are struggling. So relatively than begin loving-kindness follow with ourselves, which is conventional, I discover it extra useful to start out with these we most naturally love and care about. One of many lovely ideas of compassion and loving-kindness practices is that we begin the place it really works, the place it’s best. We open our coronary heart in probably the most pure manner, then direct our loving-kindness little by little to the areas the place it’s harder.
First, sit comfortably and relaxed, along with your eyes closed. Sense your self seated right here on this thriller of human life. Take your seat midway between heaven and Earth, because the Buddha did, then deliver a form consideration to your self. Really feel your physique seated and your breath respiration naturally.
Consider somebody you care about and love so much. Then let pure phrases of fine needs for them come into your thoughts and coronary heart. A number of the conventional ones are, “Could you be protected and guarded,” “Could you be wholesome and robust,” and “Could you be actually completely happy.”
Then image a second particular person you care about and categorical the identical good needs and intentions towards them.
Subsequent, think about that these two individuals whom you’re keen on are providing you their loving-kindness. Image how they have a look at you with concern and love as they are saying, “Could you too be protected and guarded. Could you be wholesome and robust. Could you be actually completely happy.”
Take of their good needs. Now flip them towards your self. Generally individuals place their hand on their coronary heart or their physique as they repeat the phrases: “Could I be protected and guarded. Could I be wholesome and robust. Could I be actually completely happy.”
With the identical care let your eyes open, look across the room, and supply your loving-kindness to everybody round you. Really feel how nice it’s to unfold the sector of loving-kindness.
Now consider your self as a beacon, spreading the sunshine of loving-kindness like a lighthouse round your metropolis, across the nation, around the globe, even to distant planets. Suppose, “Could all beings far and close to, all beings younger and previous, beings in each route, be held in nice loving-kindness. Could they be protected and guarded. Could they be wholesome and robust. Could they be actually completely happy.”
The Buddha stated that the woke up coronary heart of loving-kindness and freedom is our birthright as human beings. “If this stuff weren’t doable,” he stated, “I’d not train them. However as a result of they’re doable for you, I supply these teachings of the dharma of awakening.”