Begin by getting yourself comfortable.
Close your eyes.
Connect with your breath. Follow the breath in and out of the body. Breathing in your own time and own rhythm.
Breathing in deeply
Simply follow your breath as it flows into your body, and then as it flows out of your body
Simply be aware of it, noticing how the breath makes you feel
The breath is your anchor to this moment. The breath brings you into the present moment.
If distracting thoughts arise – simply acknowledge them without becoming involved - and then return your focus back to the breath
Allow yourself to completely switch off – inviting yourself to go from a space of doing and thinking to a space of non-doing and just being.
Breathing in deeply
Settle into this space of stillness.
Falling into a deeper state of relaxation and calmness. Becoming present within the here and now.
Take a moment now to set an intention for this practice, some examples are: “to open my heart”, “ to cultivate loving-kindness”, “ to care for myself” “to love and honour myself more deeply” “to be grateful for this gift of life”
Now bring your awareness to someone or something that makes you feel good. Something you have a positive emotional connection with. It could be your spouse, children, parents, or friends. Maybe it is a pet. Or maybe it is something that brings you great joy.
Notice how you feel as you start thinking about this person or thing.
Notice the feelings you have for them arise in your body. It may be a smile that spreads across your face. It may be the expansion of your heart. It may be a warmth in your body. Whatever it is, allow it to be felt. Savour this beautiful feeling.
Invite these beautiful feelings of warmth, love, goodness and gratitude to stay present in the body as you gently release this person or object from your mind. Identify what it's like to receive loving kindness. Then relax into these sensations and feelings for just a couple of breaths.
Turn your awareness inward onto yourself. Let this beautiful feeling of love and warmth permeate every being of you. Fill yourself up with loving kindness. Feel a deep sense of gratitude for your breath, your heartbeat, and your life. Feel a sense of awe for your entire being and existence. You are perfect – just as you are in the here and now. You are a child of the universe. You have gifts to bring forward into this world. Hold yourself gently – forgiving yourself for any mistakes you have made – for you can only do the best you can with what you have and know. Mistakes are just that – they are mistakes. If we knew better – we would do better.
Take a moment to hold yourself gently - fill yourself up with love and appreciation. Use this moment to honour every part of your complete existence.
Silently say to yourself:
May I be safe May I be happy May I be healthy May I live in peace, no matter what I am given May my heart be filled with love and kindness.
Pause for a while to contemplate what these words truly mean and how they are making you feel inside.
Notice the feelings and sensations that arise and let them be.
Now try offering loving kindness to someone who supports you. Bring that person to mind and let these words become your words: May you be safe May you be happy May you be healthy May you live in peace, no matter what you are given May your heart be filled with love and kindness. Notice the feelings and sensations that arise and let them be.
Next, wish something good for that person and you could use words like – ‘I wish all the happiness for you’, ‘I wish that you never have to suffer’, ‘I wish that you are always loved’, ‘I wish you know that I will always be there for you’.
Sit in this space of sending out loving kindness. Let the feeling of love and kindness permeate your entire being.
Turn your attention to the broader community of which you are a part of. Imagine your family, your colleagues, your neighbours: fan out your attention until you include yourself in this offering of lovingkindness. May we be safe May we be happy May we be healthy May we live in peace, no matter what we are given May our hearts be filled with love and kindness. Notice the sensations and feelings that arise within you.
Sit with this feeling for a few moments.
Notice in the body Feelings of warmth or goodness. Then relax into these sensations and feelings for just a couple breaths.
inhale, drawing in loving kindness. And then exhale, sending out loving kindness.
Let's bring this practice to a close with three long inhales and three long exhales.
Bring your awareness back to your breath. Bring your awareness back to the intention you set at the beginning of today’s meditation. Repeat the intention three times.
Bring your attention to your breath, the natural breath flowing in and out of your nose. Maintain your awareness of the breath and at the same time return your awareness to your body. Awareness of relaxation...and awareness of your physical existence.
Visualize the surrounding room, let your mind become part of your surrounds and this present moment...do not open your eyes. Lie quietly in the ocean of awareness.
Gently move your body, wiggle your fingers and toes ever so slowly, move your hands and feet slowly, turn your head left and right very slowly, please take your time, there is no hurry. When both the mind and body feel awake, open your eyes and allow the action of seeing to happen, do not focus on anything. Allow some time to gently settle into your surrounds and the present moment.