This type of mindfulness is used to help people be kinder to themselves as well as more compassionate to others.
Below is a simple script to give you an introduction to this type of mindfulness. Any one of the following sections also can be done separately. More detailed scripts can be easily found, such as UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center’s Free Meditation Podcasts.
- Contemplate kindness from others: Gently bring up a memory of a person for whom you already feel warm, tender, and compassionate feelings, such as someone who has been very kind and loving to you in the past (this could be a parent, your child, a close loved one, a pet) or a situation when you felt warm feelings. Focus on this memory and remember feeling warmed by the presence of this person.
- Extend warm feelings to yourself: Place your hand on yourself (such as over your heart or on your belly) and imagine that this is the hand of someone very kind and caring (or being hugged by a loved one or having a beloved dog on your feet). Feel the warmth flow from your palm to your body. Let your palm rest gently and let the kindness flow from your fingers. You can also speak kindly to yourself, saying something caring to express concern or affection (for example, you can simply say words like “gentle” or “kindness” or express thoughts such as “I know this hurts, but I can do this” or “For this moment, may I find peace”).
- Extend warm feelings to the world around you: Expand your presence and radiate these warm, tender, and compassionate feelings to others; first to a few people you well, then to all your friends and family; then to all people with whom you have a connection, and finally to all people and creatures of the earth.