Lovingkindness meditation both allows us to look directly at ourselves and extend goodwill to others. By sitting still, eyes open or closed, repeating silently phrases like, “may I be happy, may I be safe, may I give and receive appreciation,” and taking the time to be present in a moment of self-compassion, we guide our attention to a bigger picture of ourselves and others as we extend our goodwill. It takes practice to understand that we are not simply a collection of mistakes and missteps. Lovingkindness meditation is said to give rise to more resilience, a greater sense of happiness, and an extended ability to draw on inner resources.
All Buddhist traditions teach that the practice of loving-kindness can transform our lives. Here, Tulku Thondup offers a step-by-step guide to a Tibetan Buddhist approach to loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on connecting to Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.