Spend a few minutes on each stage of this practice. Settle your body in an upright and seated posture. Take a few minutes to focus on the natural flow of your breath, while bringing your attention to the heart space in the center of your chest.
- Now either repeat your name or visualize yourself in your heart so you can feel your presence. Hold yourself there, gently and tenderly. Release any tension on the out-breath and breathe in softness and openness with the in-breath. Silently repeat: "May I be happy, may I be peaceful, may I be kinder." Feel a growing sense of friendliness and kindness for yourself.
- Now direct your kindness toward the person you are having a hard time with at work, where communication is not easy or there are misunderstandings. Keep breathing out any resistance, and breathing in openness, as you hold this person in your heart and repeat: "May you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be kinder." No need to get caught up in recalling the details of the story. Hold them gently and tenderly, wishing them wellness and happiness.
- Now expand your kindness outward toward all people, in all directions. Open your heart to others, whomever they may be, silently repeating: "May all beings be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be kinder." Let go of any prejudice or resistance. Feel kindness radiating out from you in all directions. Breathe in kindness, breathe out kindness.
When you are ready, take a deep breath and gently open your eyes, letting the kindness in your heart put a smile on your lips.
Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be The Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World
. They are featured weekly contributors to Oprah.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Care2.com. Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs
: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and
Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book
Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award.
Keep Reading More from Ed and Deb Shapiro:
Why your mind is like a beautiful garden
How meditation can calm your mind
3 anxiety-free ways to change