Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving kindness is a type of meditation used to cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others. By allowing ourselves to notice and radiate feelings of love and peace toward ourselves and to others, we move away from self-judgement and criticism and move toward self-acceptance and self-love.

How do we do this?

Let’s start with simply getting comfortable, taking deep breaths and focusing our attention on the present moment.  If distractions come into your mind, (thoughts, sensations, anxiety, to-do lists) gently bring your mind back to the present moment, encouraging your mind and emotions that this is exactly where you need to be and nothing else needs your attention right now. Gently bring your attention back to your breath and your body.

The great thing about a loving kindness meditation is that you do not need to feel or believe the things you are saying. You may not feel particularly worthy of love or kindness. Just allow yourself to spend a few minutes participating in this exercise because you are worthy of love even if you do not feel like this is true.

Let’s start by radiating loving kindness towards ourselves. If this feels too uncomfortable or challenging, gently move on to the next part and come back to this part as you feel ready. 

Toward yourself:

May I be safe
May I be loved
May I feel connected and calm
May I be at peace

When you feel ready, choose someone who you love and want good things for. Bring this person to mind and radiate these statements of loving kindness to them:

May they be safe
May they be loved
May they feel connected and calm
May they be at peace

Now extend these feelings of loving kindness to all humankind:

May everyone be safe
May everyone be loved
May everyone feel connected and calm
May everyone be at peace

This is a tool you can use as often as you need it. Taking time to cultivate these feelings of compassion and love is an irreplaceable gift you can give yourself. You deserve loving kindness.


By: Sara Pogue, MSW, LICSW
Photo: Jan Kopřiva via Unsplash