A meditation for focusing on love, in the abstract
  • Think of someone who's company you enjoy very much
  • A simple, uncomplicated relationship
  • What is it you appreciate about them?
  • Enumerate the things about them you are grateful for
  • Think of the impact they have on your life, the good times
  • What are their best qualities? Their most amusing idiosyncrasies?
  • Feel the warmth welling up inside of you
  • Turn your attention to it, focus on the physical sensations
  • This is the feeling of love, it is just as important as the idea
  • Reflect on how you want the best for this person
    • You hope all their dreams come true
    • You wish that they are free of suffering, and when suffering does come that they have the resilience and support to face it
    • Imagine their smiling face and feel how happy it makes you
  • Repeat this process, cycling through those you care about
    • You can repeat people, circle back to them or focus on just one
  • Let yourself smile!
  • Now ask yourself, what is it that makes this person or these people so special?
  • It is that we know them so deeply, that we appreciate the details of what lies beneath the surface of them
  • We can extend this love to anyone, if we understand them sufficiently
  • Think of someone you have a neutral relationship with, someone who works at your local supermarket, your friendly neighbour
    • Realise that you want the best for this person too
    • Picture them smiling, let yourself wish that their work-day is stress free
  • Now, finally, think of someone you find difficult to be around
    • We may never find it within ourselves to truly enjoy this persons company
    • But even for this highly irritating human being, we can wish the best
      • We wish no harm or suffering upon those we dislike
      • I hope they are smiling, surrounded by loved ones somewhere far away from me
  • Return to the feeling of warmth in the body, if you've lost focus on it, circle back to someone you care deeply about and find it again
  • Imagine the warmth and love inside you slowly expanding and intensifying
  • Eventually, it moves beyond the surface of the skin, into the air
  • Like a layer of love insulating you, perhaps slightly glowing
  • Imagining it growing, and growing
  • Include the air, all of us around you, this house, this street, our city... Even the whole planet, or the whole of reality
  • Stretch the limits of how far you can push this, imagine how beautiful it would be for everyone on earth to earnestly smile and feel content
  • Meditate on this for as long as you can, be aware of the sensations
  • Enumerate the people out there who are deserving of our compassion
  • The poor, the sick, the oppressed
  • Feel how much you care for them, despite your paths never crossing
  • And now think of the strangers you dislike
  • The close minded, selfish, stubborn, bigoted and hateful
  • They too deserve our compassion
  • They are humans, with just as much depth of experience as ourselves and our loved ones
  • And they are hurting, they act out their suffering on others
  • But we love them regardless
  • Finally, think of yourself
  • You are no different to any of these people, you wish yourself the best in life too
  • In your head, think the words "I love myself" and let the idea sink in
  • Loving ourselves and loving others, there is no difference
    • Two sides of the same coin
  • Promise you will be gentler and kinder to yourself
  • Now, drop your focus, sit with how you feel
  • Freely explore the sensations and thoughts of love that arise without any judgement
  • Feel free to explore any of the concepts we've been through, while maintaining awareness of the sensations of love
  • Or just sit there and bask
  • Keep a gentle smile on your face throughout