Practice Loving-kindness this Valentine’s Day

buddhist What is Loving-kindness? While it appears across many religions, it first came into my life while reading a book based in Buddhist principles. But it doesn’t have to be religious. Anyone can practice it.

The westernized version of Mettā meditation, Loving-kindness is about treating all people and things with compassion. And that includes yourself.

So why am I writing about this? I don’t profess to be an expert in Buddhism or any religion for that matter. The book I learned this from was actually written by a psychologist not a theologian.

But as a student at UNC, this has been an emotionally draining week. The tragedy that happened in Chapel Hill made me stop and think a lot about the world we live in. The closest I came to having a connection to the victims was one of my friends had known them. Yet my heart was still in my stomach, and I was still asking “why?”

I don’t know the answer to my question. But I do know I don’t want to live in a cruel and unforgiving world. Maybe it’s cliche, but I want to wake up every day and go to bed at night knowing I did the most to make the world a little brighter.

Being self-absorbed is an easy trap to fall into until something horrible happens that reminds us how small we are. How little things like not getting the job or a friend canceling plans actually matter.

Loving-kindness meditation may not change the world much, but it will change it in a positive direction.

So this Valentine’s Day take five minutes of your day to meditate and send your love and compassion to the world.

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A sample meditation to use.
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