Before we begin the meditation, we must consider and resolve two things. The first is, what is the definition of love? Every person has a different answer to this, but for the purposes of this meditation, we will consider love to be the state where we want another being to be happy and free from suffering. Under this definition, love is not limited to our friends, family or people that are close to us but every being that is capable of suffering.
Secondly, we must contemplate the power of equanimity. A state of equanimity entails that we see every being equally in that they want to avoid suffering and gain happiness. So every being deserves the possibility to be happy and love is simply the state of wishing that upon other beings.
So let’s begin. Come into a comfortable seated position and center yourself with a few deep abdominal breaths. Visualize yourself in an infinite plane that contains all the beings in the world. Imagine your family and friends sitting closest to you, all around you. Imagine your mother on your left and your father on your right. Even if someone isn’t alive, imagine them there with you, in full health.
Next visualize all the people you have difficulty with sitting right in front of you. Everyone on this infinite plant is sitting in the same direction, facing forward. Consider all the politicians you love to hate, famous people, people who’ve hurt you, people you’ve had disagreements with, people you just dislike for no reason. Visualize them all sitting in front of you.
Now beyond the people closest to you and the ones you have difficulty with, imagine all other beings, acquaintances, complete strangers, animals, trees, every sentient being you can imagine, sitting on this infinite plane, all facing forwards.
Our job in this meditation is to share our love with all these beings. But first, we must connect to that love within us. Imagine a time in your life when you felt especially loved and you loved a person back. It could be a moment with your spouse or your parents, a special time with your grandma or a chance interaction on the street. Imagine this moment in its entirety. Remember the things you saw, the smells you smelt, the words that were spoken. Allow that feeling of love to enter you and take over your body until a warm, luminous energy is burning bright within you.
Before we can send this love out to other people, we must be able to totally love ourselves. So go ahead and wish yourself every happiness that you could possibly have. If you find this difficult to do, you may want to take note and work on it at a later time. But for now, as that warm, luminous energy flows across your body, wish yourself all the happiness you can fathom and once you feel a deep sense of love towards yourself, imagine this warm energy shining out from your heart like rays of sunshine. Visualize this light touch your mother, father and other family and friends. When the light of your love touches them, their hearts begin to glow and unite with your light, sending it back to you and further on to more people. Feel that warmth surrounding you, moving through you and growing all around you.
Next, focus your attention on those people in front of you, the ones you have difficulty with.
If love is universal, then we cannot just constrain it to a few who think and act like us but we need to find in our hearts, the ability to love all.
Are you able to find love in your heart for those people you have difficulty with? Can you wish them to be free from any anger, confusion, hatred or insecurity that may be responsible for their suffering? Extend the light of your love out to them, enabling them to heal from their pain. Watch as their hearts begin to glow from your love which they, in turn, extend out to others, including yourself. Visualize the strength of that love, dissolving any pain or anger you may feel around events or disagreements of the past.
Next, extend the light of your love out to all strangers around the world, whoever they may be. The lonely, the sick, the hungry, the confused, the oppressed, the frightened, the cold, the injured, send your love to all beings in an unbiased way. Wish for them all to be happy and free from suffering. Notice again that like a chain reaction, as soon as you touch them with your light, they begin to glow and send their light out to others. So eventually, the entire infinite plane is connected in an incredible web of love, with every being wishing for the happiness of all other beings.
Continue to meditate in this way for as long as possible and as regularly as you can. You will realize that it is in fact possible for you to love everybody and love is the most powerful sensation you have to realize your unity with everything around you.
Comment below and tell us how you felt practicing this meditation.