“I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.” – Walt Whitman
We all have the potential to love fully and unconditionally but we may feel disconnected from this natural gift.
The practice of loving kindness is a practical means of befriending ourselves and others. We re-orientate our emotional states towards warmth and generosity which reconnects us with our deeply compassionate nature. When we sit regularly with a sincere intention to cultivate love and kindness, to open our hearts and give expression to our wish for happiness, our own and others – patience, acceptance, friendliness and appreciation become more predominant in us and in our lives.
Why Loving Kindness?
Loving Kindness is an antidote to fear, and it helps us overcome hatred, anger and resentment. The practice helps us let go of some of the defences we have built around our hearts to protect ourselves, and opens us to experience more connection with ourselves and others. The tone of the harsh inner critic that causes us to suffer softens. We develop new habits and ways of relating with ourselves and others with generosity and appreciation.
Is there research evidence to support the value of Loving Kindness Practice?
Research shows that loving kindness does much more than produce passing good feelings. It:
- Increases people’s experience of positive emotions
- Enhances the way people approach life
- Makes people feel less isolated
- Enables more connection with others
- Results in people liking and accepting themselves more!
Here is a video where Sharon Salzberg speaks about the practice of Loving Kindness
Background to Loving Kindness / Metta
Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha taught Metta Meditation for people to protect themselves from fear, from danger both internal and external. Buddist theory teaches and practice demonstrates that happiness comes from empathising with others and seeing that their wellbeing / suffering is as important as our own.
What happens on a Loving Kindness Course?
Course activities include guided meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The emphasis is on strengthening positive emotional states and re-connecting with self / others.
What benefits might I gain on the Loving Kindness Course?
Loving Kindness practice produces four qualities of love:
- Friendliness – warmth that reaches out and embraces ourselves and others
- Compassion – empathy when suffering is encountered
- Appreciative Joy – gladness and rejoicing in our own and others wellbeing
- Equanimity – kind disposition and patient acceptance of our own and others joy & suffering.
“Huge difference in my life, much more than I expected. I now see and feel beauty surrounding me everyday. Thank you for facilitating such a positive journey for me. I now have space to breath and a peacefulness deep within.”
For more information
Please don’t hesitate to contact Joanne if you have any query?