Spiritual Practices: Prayer of Loving Kindness

Today’s practice is the Prayer of Loving Kindness.  The beauty of this prayer is in the many ways it can be used.  My first introduction to it was in a contemplative mode, praying it slowly and repeatedly, for yourself and others. First, for yourself, taking your time.  Then pray it for someone who has blessed your life, a benefactor.  Then for a friend, then someone who needs it, and so on.

I have used it as a benediction.  I have used it when I can only get beyond “Lord, have mercy!” for someone when I don’t know what else to pray.  It is a wonderful prayer to use for someone I struggle to understand. I use it for those I love sometimes before falling asleep. I pray that it will be the gift for you that it is to me.

As its author Jack Kornfield says, no matter what arises while you meditate on this prayer, simply continue to “plant the seeds of loving wishes.”  We can be sure they will bear fruit. 

Lovingkindness Meditation:

May you be filled with lovingkindness.

May you be free of inner and outer dangers.

May you be well in body and mind.

May you be at ease and happy.

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