Skill Level Beginner
- [Instructor] This is an audio course. No need to watch, just listen. (bell dings) (sentimental music) - [Voiceover] Sounds True presents guided meditation, essential practices to cultivate love, awareness, and wisdom with the co-founder Insight Meditation Society and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Jack Kornfield. - [Jack] Loving kindness meditation is an ancient and wonderful practice that can open our hearts and transform our life. The practice of loving kindness uses repeated phrases and images and feelings to evoke the spirit of loving kindness and friendliness toward ourselves and toward others. With each recitation of the phrases and words, we express an intention of the heart. We plant the seed of loving wishes over and over that they may grow and sprout in ourselves and in our lives. It's traditional at the beginning of loving kindness meditation to recite the blessings of this practice. As your heart grows in loving kindness, your dreams become sweet. You fall asleep more easily and wake and contented. Your thoughts become pleasant and your health improves. Angels and devils will love and protect you and men and women will love you as well. Animals will sense your love and not harm you and people will welcome you everywhere. As your heart grows in loving kindness, your babies will be happy. And if you lose things, they will be returned to you. And even if you fall off a cliff, a tree will be there to catch you, or so it says in the ancient texts. As your heart grows in loving kindness, the world will become more peaceful and beautiful around you. Loving kindness meditation can be part of your daily meditation practice, but it also can be extended as you walk and move about and go through your day. The evocation of loving kindness is what matters. And in the end of our life, when we look back, what matters is very simple, did I love well? Loving kindness meditation is taught as an antidote to fear and anger and confusion and a closed heart. The poet Hafiz writes, "Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I'd rather see you in better living conditions." Loving kindness meditation opens the doors and windows of the heart. Traditionally, we start with ourselves. Sometimes this is difficult for people. Our unworthiness makes it difficult to offer love to ourselves. And yet the Buddha teaches that we can search the whole tenfold universe and not find a single being more worthy of loving kindness than the one right here, ourselves. The image that the Buddha gives for loving kindness is of a caring mother holding her most beloved child. In this practice, we gradually move from loving kindness for ourselves to loved ones and benefactors and friends and people everywhere, and finally, the difficult people. And beyond that, we extend loving kindness to the community of beings, all beings seen and unseen across the earth and beyond. Remember this as a practice. You can experiment with it for 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time. At first, this meditation can feel mechanical or awkward. It can even bring up its opposite, feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it's especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself. Allow whatever arises to be held in the spirit of loving kindness and affection. Like water on a stone sometimes, the drops of loving kindness, even in the places of greatest difficulty, begin to wear away the closeness, the hardness of the heart. They begin to bring water back and nourish that sweet current of love that is there in each one of us. Let this practice of loving kindness and the planting of the seeds of good intentions become part of your meditation and part of the way you move through the world. With a loving heart, all you do and all you encounter will open and flow more easily. The blessings of your life will benefit from the opening of loving kindness.