When practicing Loving-Kindness Meditation, you first start by sending loving and kind thoughts to yourself. Begin by remembering a time when you were happy. When the feeling of happiness arises, it is a warm glowing feeling in the center of your chest. Now, when this feeling arises, make a very sincere wish for your own happiness. “May I be happy”... “May I be filled with joy”... “May I be peaceful and calm”... “May I be cheerful and kind”, etc..
Make any wholesome sincere wish that has meaning for you, feeling the wish in your heart. The key word here is “sincere.” If your wish isn't a sincere wish, then it will turn into a mantra that is, it may become a statement repeated by rote, with no real meaning. Then you would be on the surface repeating the statement while thinking about other things. So it is very important that the wish you make for yourself (and later for your spiritual friend) has real meaning for you and uses your whole undivided attention.
Don't continually repeat the wish for happiness: “May I be happy... may I be happy... may I be happy... may I be happy”. Make the wish for your own happiness when the feeling of Loving-Kindness begins to fade a little.
After every wish for your own happiness, please notice that there is some slight tension or tightness in your head, in your mind. Let it go. You do this by relaxing mind completely. Feel mind open up and become calm, but do this only one time.
If the tightness doesn't go away never mind, you will be able to let it go while on the meditation object (your home base).
Don't continually try to keep relaxing mind, without coming back to the home base; always softly redirect your tranquil attention back to the feeling of happiness...
A practical, Bare-Bones guide
to Loving-Kindness Meditation
by Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi
There is much more skillful, inspiring instruction in this "Bare-Bones Guide to Loving-Kindness Meditation" by Bhante Vimalaramsi, who is the teacher at the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center.
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