Loving Kindness Meditation – Cultivating Compassion for Self and Others

Loving Kindness Meditation – Cultivating Compassion for Self and Others

What is Loving Kindness Meditation?

Metta Bhavana is the original name of this practice originating from the Buddhist tradition, which can be practised by anyone regardless of religious affiliation. Metta means (non-romantic) ‘love’, kindness, or friendliness: hence ‘Loving Kindness’ for short. Bhavana means ‘development’ or ‘cultivation’. Research shows that Loving Kindness meditation has numerous benefits from reducing self-criticism and depressive symptoms (Shahar et al 2014) to increasing positive emotions such as joy, love, gratitude, contentment and hope (Frederickson et al 2008)

I have recorded this Loving Kindness meditation for you to help cultivate a deeper sense of kindness, compassion, goodwill and appreciation for yourself and the world around you.

May You Be Well

May You Be Well

 

Loving-Kindness (Metta Bhavana) Meditation

Metta – (non-romantic) love, friendliness, kindness

Bhavana – cultivation or development

 

To begin your meditation, find a comfortable place to lie down or sit. Your eyes can be open or closed.

Start by offering Loving-Kindness to yourself by reciting silently several times:

“May I be Well, May I be Happy, May I be Safe, May I Live with Ease”.

It is perfectly normal for the mind to wander – for distractions to arise, for thoughts to pop up. When this happens, just guide yourself back to reciting:

“May I be Well, May I be Happy, May I be Safe, May I Live with Ease”.

Now think of a family member or friend – someone close to you. See them in your mind’s eye as clearly as you can. Offer them what you have just offered yourself by silently reciting, several times:

“May You be Well, May You be Happy, May You be Safe, May You Live with Ease”.

Now, think of somebody who you know is having a difficult time and with this person in mind, continuing to recite, again several times:

“May You be Well, May You be Happy, May You be Safe, May You Live with Ease”.

Next, think of somebody you feel neutral about. Someone you neither particularly like or dislike and wish them well by silently reciting, several times:

“May You be Well, May You be Happy, May You be Safe, May You Live with Ease”.

Now, bringing to mind a person you do not like. Offer Loving-Kindness to this person:

“May You be Well, May You be Happy, May You be Safe, May You Live with Ease”.

If it feels too hard to do the latter, then return to offering Loving-Kindness to yourself, silently reciting:

“May I be Well, May I be Happy, May I be Safe, May I Live with Ease”.

To complete your meditation by thinking of all these people, yourself included, and then extend your offering of Loving-Kindness to everyone around you. To everyone far away. To all beings everywhere, silently reciting, several times:

“May All Beings be Well, May All Beings be Happy, May All Beings be Safe, May All Beings Live with Ease”.

If you like this meditation, you can find find my downloadable meditations and yoga nidras here.

 

 

 

Meditate Advent: Can You Give Yourself 5 Minutes?

Meditate Advent: Can You Give Yourself 5 Minutes?

December can be a crazy month for many of us so it can be even more important to find ways to press pause during your day. If you haven’t started a meditation practice but would like to (or if your practice has gone by the wayside and you’d like to re-start), then why not join me for Meditation Advent?

  • 5 minutes (ideally) sitting, each day from 1st – 25th December
  • This can be done anywhere – at home, on public transport, waiting for the bus (I have busy Mum pals who will lock the bathroom door for 5 mins alone or have their children meditate with them, where possible!)
  • If you’re able to stick to a regular time each day then great (E.g. I like to sit up in bed upon waking so that it’s the first thing I do). If that’s not possible then take 5 minutes wherever you can.
  • Set a timer for 5 minutes (I like the bell on the Insight Timer app but you could just use the timer on your phone or any other that suits you.)
  • While you’re there simply focus on your inhale and exhale. When distractions and thoughts pop up – which they WILL – guide your awareness back to your breath.
  • That’s it!

I will be doing this along with you and I’ll be sharing tips and thoughts during the month on social media (you can find me on Instagram @ucanyoga1, Twitter @ucayoga and on Facebook at The 365 Savasana Project). If you are joining in or posting about your experience, please feel free to tag me or let me know how you’re getting on using #UCanMeditateAdvent.

New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

Saturday 7th January 2017 – 6.45-8.45pm at Embody Wellness

Realign with your deepest self in this New Year workshop with Patricia Carlota and I – an evening of deep relaxation for both body and mind.

Yin Yoga is a deep, meditative practice that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together) in areas such as the hips and spine and typically involves holding poses for three to five minutes.

This will prepare the body for a calming Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) practice – a guided meditation that will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation. We will invite the space to set our intentions (Sankalpa) during our Yoga Nidra practice, clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives for the year ahead, ready for a blissful Gong Bath.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

To book your place please visit the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.

 

A Solstice Meditation for You

A Solstice Meditation for You

Simple Solstice Meditation for You

Visoka va Jyotismati – Sutra 1.36

Visoka – blissful
va – or
jyotismati – the supreme light

This month in the Northern Hemisphere is the Winter Solstice (Wednesday 21st December) – the shortest day and longest night of the year.

In many ways 2016 has been a tumultuous year around the world. In the midst of uncertain and darker times it can be easy to succumb to fear and forget the light within – the light which Sutra 1.36 reminds us we all possess – which allows us to spread goodness. If you feel unsettled, try this simple meditation to remind you of your inner light which is beyond all fear and worry:

– Take your awareness to your heart centre. Visualise a light there, glowing radiantly.

– Stay here, focusing on this inner light for as long as you can, even if it’s just a minute. Feel that light expanding, radiating throughout your body, until you are filled up with this light. Then feel your light expanding further, outwards into the space around you.

– Don’t be surprised to notice that your breathing has become slower and more steady – a good sign.

Solstice Blessings.

Namaste.

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Sunday 18th December 2-4pm at reCentre Health, Balham

Join us for this special Winter Solstice workshop – an afternoon of soothing sounds and complete relaxation for the mind and body

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year as we transition from Autumn to Winter and is a time for reflection and rebalancing – acknowledging what no longer serves us, making space to welcome in the new.

In this special workshop we will invite the space to set our “solstice resolutions”or intentions (Sankalpa) with our Yoga Nidra practice (with Paula), clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives as we move forward.

Yoga Nidra (also known as ‘yogic sleep’) is a guided meditation that  will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation.

Following a short tea break, the second part of the workshop will commence with a glorious gong bath with Patricia Carlota.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Book your place here or call reCentre on 020 8672 4455.