In Sanskrit there is a word: metta. It doesn’t have an exact translation in English. The closest we have is the idea of compassion or loving-kindness – it is that sense of deep and abiding care that you can feel towards another human being; a sense that you wish no harm to come to that person and a feeling of holding them in kindness and care. Sometimes it is possible to get a sense of that feeling by imaging how a parent may feel towards their child.
This is an exercise in feeling compassion towards yourself. Self compassion often doesn’t come naturally – it is a skill you need to learn, practice and consciously engage in.
Self compassion mindfulness mp3
Now, allow yourself to notice your breath. Don’t feel that you have to do anything to your breathing – just be aware, curious and attentive to the physical sensations of breathing in and breathing out.
Allow yourself now to bring your awareness and attention to that feeling of compassion, loving-kindness or deep and abiding care and concern. Bring to mind someone in your life who is dear and precious to you. Imagine yourself enfolding this person in that feeling.
Allow yourself to have the following thoughts towards this person:
- May this person know a decrease in distress.
- May this person know peace and tranquillity – at least for a while.
- May this person know happiness and joy – at least for a while.
- May this person be able to deal with their suffering.
Continue to imagine this person, holding them in your mind and sending to the image you hold these loving, kind and compassionate thoughts. Notice how this feels in your body.
What are the physical sensations that come to you when you connect with feelings of loving-kindness and compassion? What are the images and thoughts that come? Just notice these thoughts, physical sensations and emotions – note them with gentle curiosity, without judgement.
Now, if you can, see whether you can direct some of that loving-kindess, compassion and deep abiding care towards yourself. See whether you can have the following thoughts for yourself:
- May I know a decrease in distress.
- May I know some peace and tranquillity in my life – at least for a while.
- May I know some happiness and joy – at least for a while.
- May I be confident that I can deal with my own suffering.
Now bring your attention, mindfulness and awareness back to your breath. Notice your inward and outward breath for a few moments.
Please feel free to download the MP3 for your own personal use.
Exercise 10: Self compassion mindfulness
Other mindfulness exercises
- 1. Introduction to mindfulness
- 2. Mindfulness of the external world
- 3. Eating mindfulness
- 4. Walking mindfulness
- 5. Breathing mindfulness
- 6. Body scan
- 7. External world and breath
- 8. Mindfulness of thoughts
- 9. Thoughts sensations and emotions
- 10. Self compassion mindfulness
- 11. Mountain meditation
- 12. Alternate nostril breathing
- 13. Mindfulness of physical discomfort
- 14. Mindfulness of difficult thoughts
- 15. Empty bowl meditation
Get the mobile version
The mindfulness exercises are one of the features available in the free Living Well App for iPhone and Android. Be mindful anywhere, anytime.
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Patricia June 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm
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Comment by christine mahlum
christine mahlum October 27, 2016 at 3:26 am
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Comment by Vaibhav
Vaibhav January 16, 2019 at 4:52 am
I am a guy from the best higher education institute in my country. Because of academic pressure and relationship problems I went to a very poor emotional state. I used to weep all the time. But now after 4 months of medication and this meditation, I feel free and happy. I try to do this daily as it really helps to sleep well and to raise confidence in myself. I got to know about this in a course.
Thanks a lot for your efforts.