When times get tough, like they are amidst global chaos, loss, and uncertainty, there is nothing like the practice known as metta or maitri by the Buddhists. This training in how to make friends with ourselves is my go-to in times of stress, fear, and depression, but it is one which strengthens our sense of connection to the world and brings benefits at any time. The practice of lovingkindness increases feelings of warmth, safety, and belonging unlike anything else I know, it is truly as close to a cure-all as we can get when it comes to meditation.
There are at least 18 science-based reasons to practice loving kindness meditation. I borrowed heavily from the amazing work and research of these folks to write a meditation for practicing loving kindness in a very gentle way that helps in times of stress and radical uncertainty. The life of a human is full of struggle and chaos, lovingkindness can help us deal with it.
The meditation recording below is a practice I recorded while developing content for my ongoing program with CPTSD Foundation, the Mindfulness, Prayer, and Meditation Circle, which is a nine-week journey exploring the application of these tools on the road to recovery from complex trauma. Sign up for my mailing list if you'd like to receive more mindful content from me in the future, or comment below if you have a specific question.
This version is very helpful for anyone who would like to cultivate a less self-critical mindset. Anyone can benefit from this meditation, which is an exceptionally non-triggering version of a very well known style of practice. There are many ways to meditate, I hope you enjoy this one.
I recommend playing some meditation music in the background since there is a good bit of white noise in the recording on my end (here's a list of some of my favorites). The meditation is 18 minutes long. Better recordings coming soon! Remember to sign up for the list to be the first to know.
Download the track below, share widely, and let me know how it goes.
P.S. Three amazing mindfulness teachers got together a whole heaping ton of good quality resources for you to do an at home meditation retreat, which the state of the world today makes easier than ever! Check out this link for sample meditation routines, daily schedules, guided meditations, and several talks on loving kindness. Thank you for your practice.