Can you imagine a world without hatred or fighting? Is it possible to attain world peace? It seems that every day, we are burdened with difficult people or relationships and end up getting riled up ourselves. This doesn’t do much good for anyone.
Instead of fighting, let us accept. Instead of hate, let us love. Difficult as it seems, it’s at times like these when it’s even more important to open our hearts, and we can do so by practicing Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness is an altruistic love, an unconditioned love that shines on all beings without judgement and without distinction. It includes qualities of compassion, patience, generosity, and benevolence. It has the power to dissolve greed, jealousy, resentment, and hatred as well as increase the capacity for forgiveness and self-acceptance. Through these actions, it deepens connection with others and creates a better world for everyone.
Perhaps all this sounds too good to be true. Perhaps you think these are just words coming from a naïve idealist dreaming of an entity that doesn’t exist. I argue that it does. You see it when a parent holds a newborn child. You see it when someone helps a stranger. You see it when caring for an injured soul.
How do we tap into the power of Loving Kindness? The first step involves offering Loving Kindness to ourselves. Only then will we have the maturity and capacity to extend it to others.
Find a quiet space and repeat the following phrases to yourself:
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I live with joy and ease.
May I be at peace.
Allow yourself to connect with each phrase and repeat as many times as needed to deepen your connection. Notice how you feel and give your mind and body space to process what thoughts and emotions arise. The next step is to extend these well wishes to others, beginning with our close friends and family to acquaintances to those who have wronged us and finally to all living beings. With practice, cultivating Loving Kindness becomes easier as your heart begins to soften. In time, you will notice your mind and heart have more space and freedom for joy and peace. Perhaps you will see that your relationships begin to change for the better.
Again, I realize that all this sounds idealistic. However, I challenge you to begin incorporating Loving Kindness into your daily life and see what happens. Maybe then, you’ll be able to imagine the world as I do. John Lennon said it best:
Imagine all the people
living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer
but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.
To learn more and put Loving Kindness into practice, join me for my upcoming Loving Thoughts workshop here.