What is loving kindness meditation?

While I was listening to Tim Ferriss’ new audiobook “Tools of Titans” which is an incredible audiobook, I was introduced to loving kindness meditation.

Now I’m no stranger to meditation, I’ve been in a on-again-off-again relationship with meditating for over a decade now. This was the first time, however I had heard of any time of meditation that didn’t focus on thinking about nothing or only focusing on your breath while you sit on the floor.

Don’t get me wrong, traditional meditation is incredible and has proven very beneficial for mood regulation and stress management. This isn’t me claiming these methods are less effective, just different. I suggest you try all methods that pique your interest.

Loving kindness meditation involves finding a quiet place to sit comfortably and focus on someone you know very well. Think of how much this person means to you and how you wish true happiness for them. Focus on the feeling you get when you imagine this person reaching the highest level of happiness in their life, they’re fulfilled, happy, healthy, and surrounded by the best kinds of people. Sometimes this can evoke a very powerful and emotional feeling and the goal is to sit with that feeling and just feel the love that you feel towards your loved one.

The trick with loving kindness meditation is that along with wishing happiness for someone you are close to, you also want to think of someone with whom you have a more distant relationship. This could be a coworker, a relative you don’t visit often, or even an acquaintance. You want to focus on this person and wish them true happiness and fulfillment. Think about how they would feel being truly happy.

Possibly the toughest step of loving kindness meditation is the next step, where you pick someone you may not know at all, or maybe you’re not that fond of, or you have had arguments with in the past. (This one WILL take some time and practice, so don’t feel bad if you find this difficult the first few times you do this). Now, envision this person experiencing everything they’ve ever hoped for, they’re truly happy and living their dream life. What would that look like if they were truly happy?

I found even the first time I tried this exercise incredibly moving. Typical meditation practices did not have that kind of emotional impact on me the way this one did. I quite often am still moved to tears when I do this meditation, so I recommend waiting until you’ve got some time to yourself for this practice, just incase it takes a moment for your emotions to settle (or if you need a makeup touch up).

If you’re interested in trying out loving kindness meditation here are a few links to get you started and explain the benefits of loving kindness meditation. There’s also a chapter about it directly in “Tools of Titans” which you can listen to on Audible.

Have you tried this type of meditation before? Or are you planning on giving it a try? Let me know your experiences below!

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