Begin as you did for the focus reflection, to the point where you are noticing the differences between one breath and the next.
When you are settled, place one hand over your heart, and the other on your belly, the knuckle of your thumb just on your navel. Feel the warmth, the comfort it gives, the relaxation.
Keeping your focus on your heart and the sense of warmth and comfort there, silently say to yourself:
May I be safe and free from harm.
May I be healthy and full of life.
May I be happy and full of joy.
May I live with ease and be at peace with the world.
There is no need to keep repeating the words over and over. Just say them and see what happens: what sensations, what feelings, what thoughts.
When you notice that you have drifted off, or that the ‘mind monkeys’ have ‘gone off on one’, bring your focus back to the heart and the warmth, and repeat the words again, or perhaps just:
Safe – Healthy – Happy – Easy
After a few minutes, bring to mind someone very close to you, someone you love, your partner perhaps. Imagine the warmth from your hands is the warmth of an embrace, keeping them warm and safe and secure. Say to yourself:
May [name] be safe and free from harm.
May [name] be well and full of life.
May [name] be happy and full of joy.
May [name] live with ease and be at peace with the world.
Again, just see what comes to mind and body, and work with it in the usual way.
After a few more minutes, bring to mind someone you know less well, a friend or acquaintance perhaps, and repeat the exercise with them.
And then again with one of the awkward squad, someone you are finding challenging in your life right now. Take them into your embrace and wish them safety, health, happiness and peace of mind.
If you find you are still working on yourself when your timer goes, do not worry about it. Trust yourself to spend your time where you need to do so. When you are more comfortable loving yourself, you will move on more quickly.
If you find you have finished the whole thing before the timer goes off, do not worry about that either. Just return your hands to your legs or lap, and your focus to your breath.
When time is up, finish the exercise as you did the focus reflection, scanning up your body, before reconnecting with the sounds and sights around you. Be aware of how you feel before getting on with the rest of your day.
Photo: “Day 28: note. Loving kindness; it’s what’s for breakfast. #FMSPhotoADay #note #NorthVan #LowerLonsdale #love #LovingKindness #UnconditionalLove #SelfLove #BlackAndWhite #LongShadow #LittleMomentsApp” by StacieBee is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0