I have spoken of the great depth of compassion I feel when Joshua is near me. Joshua was the first being to show unconditional love to me. For me, learning to accept unconditional love was a process. In this process, I sought to cultivate an open heart and gentle spirit so I could show unconditional love to myself and others. I don’t claim perfection – not at all. I continue to practice loving-kindness and to grow.
In Buddhism, there is a practice called Metta meditation. ‘Metta’ is a Pali word meaning ‘loving-kindness.’ It is said that this meditation was originally taught by Buddha. It is a form of guided meditation, and it’s easy to learn. Basically, it goes like this: Take a few minutes to quiet your mind and focus your attention. Then, repeat these words to yourself, May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease. Do this until you feel acceptance.
Then, picture someone you know and send loving-kindness to her or him. Say or think, May s/he be happy. May s/he be healthy. May s/he live with ease. Do this until you feel comfortable. Next, offer Metta (loving-kindness) to a stranger. Picture someone you saw at the store or school, etc. Repeat the thoughts, May s/he be happy. May s/he be healthy. May s/he live with ease.
The next step is vital and a bit challenging, send loving-kindness to a difficult person in your life. Picture her or him clearly and send the loving-kindness wishes. You may decide to focus on a group that troubles you such as a political party, religious sect, or any group you judge to be wrong or bad. Send this group loving-kindness wishes until you feel peaceful.
And, finish Metta meditation by sending loving-kindness to ALL beings everywhere, above and below, seen and unseen, including animals of all types. May all beings everywhere be happy. May all beings everywhere be healthy. May all beings everywhere live with ease. Repeat this until you feel satisfied.
When practiced regularly, Metta meditation is powerful. It allows us to release negative feelings and replace them with loving kindness. His Holiness, the XIV Dalia Lama, wrote, “The ultimate source of a happy life is warm-heartedness. This means extending to others the kind of concern we have for ourselves. On a simple level, we find that if we have a compassionate heart, we naturally have more friends. And scientists today are discovering that while anger and hatred eat into our immune system, warm-heartedness and compassion are good for our health.”
While teaching The Seventh Major Understanding, I learned to value the power of setting intentions. Below are affirmations of unconditional love that I embrace as my daily intentions. With a loving heart, I urge you to develop your own intentions toward dwelling in unconditional love. I hope these suggestions are useful.
Intention of Loving Kindness: I am as gentle and kind to myself as I am with loved ones. As I practice loving-kindness within, my ability to give and express love grows. I forgive myself and others completely. I know that all of my experiences are drawn to me for an exquisite purpose. I release feelings of guilt through love and forgiveness. I intend to let love show to the best of my ability. When I slip, I forgive myself and begin again. As I learn to forgive and love myself, I extend loving kindness to all.
If you like this post, you may enjoy reading our book, Graceful Intentions for Powerful Change. Click on this link to learn more. For a thought expanding yet easy to understand explanation of oneness, you will enjoy reading Joshua’s book, The Seventh Major Understanding–A Message of Awakening.