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Mindfulness Exercises For Loving Kindness & Compassion

Feel more care, loving kindness and compassion with our free mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and more. 

Waking Up in Every World by Anushka Fernandopulle

Waking Up in Every World [Audio]

Breathing in and out as part of mindfulness or meditation can change the internal dialogue to a supportive dialogue that ...
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Trying is Succeeding

Trying Is Succeeding

A short yet meaningful video on how a health challenge prompted two friends to find ways to overcome it together ...
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Mindfulness

Elevating Your Mood (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Elevating Mood. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Guided Meditation for Self-Acceptance

Guided Meditation For Self-Acceptance

This 10-minute guided meditation will help you increase self-acceptance. Successful mindfulness practice involves learning to accept the present as it ...
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How to Find Your Passion

How to Find Your Passion

Do you know how to find your passion? Where do you find it? This video shows you wonderful ways to ...
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fostering connection with others

Fostering Connection with Others

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Fostering Connection, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Guided Meditation with Adyashanti

Guided Meditation with Adyashanti

Half an hour's worth of guided meditation with Adyashanti for jumpstarting and improving one's meditation practice, any time, anywhere ...
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Clarifying Emotions

Clarifying Emotions

Clarifying Emotions encourages you to notice the body sensations associated with the emotion, it will build up a deep familiarity ...
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Relieving Low Amounts Of Stress

Relieving Low Amounts Of Stress

Relieving Low Amounts of Stress. We all get stressed daily but sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are stressed ...
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How does it feel to lack a sense of boundaries

How Does it Feel to Lack a Sense of Boundaries?

This study discusses the phenomenological nature of the sense of boundaries (SB), based on a person’s experience with long-term mindfulness ...
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Creating A Mindful Workplace Community

Creating A Mindful Workplace Community

Begin your journey towards creating a mindful workplace community with our program, inspired by the mindfulness practices of moment-to-moment intention ...
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Mindful leader

The Mindful Leader

Ebook by Hult Research, The Mindful Leader: Developing the capacity for resilience and collaboration in complex times through mindfulness practice ...
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Mindfulness Exercises for Emotionally Disturbed Kids

Help Kids Develop Mindfulness

Individuals of all ages benefit greatly from developing mindfulness through introspective exercises. These activities train your mind to fully appreciate ...
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Mindfulness Exercises Can Benefit Kids Too

Mindfulness Exercises Can Benefit Kids Too

Mindfulness is being fully aware of right now and living in this moment. It is paying attention to the here ...
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feeling knocked off balance

Feeling Knocked Off Balance

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Balance, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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Life Has No Final Destination & Alan Watts

Life Has No Final Destination – Alan Watts

This video tackles the idea of existential purpose versus life having a final destination - an eye-opener that will surely ...
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Visualizing Stress As A Storm

Visualizing Stress As A Storm

Visualizing Stress As A Storm is a useful guided meditation script to deal with high levels of stress. It makes ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 5: Balance and Guided Meditation

Discover ways in redirecting the attention as a way of balancing coming out of the pain in Mindfulness & Pain ...
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Mindful Parenting [Video]

Mindful Parenting [Video]

In this video, Christine Carter talks about some useful tips for raising happy kids. Learn more about her tips for ...
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Relaxing Sleep Music

Relaxing Sleep Music

If you're struggling with insomnia or feeling tired, this selection of relaxing sleep music by Jason Stephenson might help you ...
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Mindfulness: The Path to the Deathless

Mindfulness: The Path to the Deathless

Mindfulness is the path to the deathless, heedlessness is the path to death. The mindful do not die, but the ...
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Writing for Self-Compassion

Writing for Self-Compassion

The writing for self-compassion is an exercise that is designed to help cultivate and promote self-compassion through writing ...
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Starting A Long Retreat [Audio]

Starting A Long Retreat [Audio]

Guy Armstrong introduces a kind of an approach, of starting a long retreat, because it’s like nothing else in our ...
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Lesson from Nature

Working with Difficult Emotions

Working with Difficult Emotions, by Caroline Jones: About Caroline Jones:Caroline Jones has been practising meditation for 20 years and teaching for ...
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Success in 3D [Video]

Success in 3D [Video]

Combine the 3 dimensions (3D) of professional life – task (it), relationships (we), and self (I) – and chart your ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 9, Compassionate Body Scan

Compassionate Body Scan

Kristin Neff leads a meditation called the Compassionate Body Scan. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. Start with getting ...
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The Magic of Awareness, Poetry Beauty and Art

This Precious Human Life

Kate Munding shares how we can make the little moments in life become a different experience. That preciousness of human ...
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The Desire to be Well-Informed Vs. the Desire to Stay Sane

The Desire to be Well-Informed Vs. the Desire to Stay Sane

In the conflict of desires to be well-informed vs. to stay sane, losing your focus is easy. Maintain your inner ...
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Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice

Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice

In this podcast, Tara Brach talks about the 3 attitudes that nourish a liberating practice. Listen to the podcasts to ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation on emotions

Guided Meditation On Emotions

Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation on emotions. Allow yourself to rest into the space of loving-awareness to acknowledge your ...
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How to Re-Discover Your Passion

How to Re-Discover Your Passion

If you find yourself lacking motivation and you want to find your lost passion, try these four steps:Rest. First and ...
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mindfulness of negativity

Mindfulness of Negativity

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Negativity, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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Repairs DNA And Brings Positive Transformation

Repairs DNA & Brings Positive Transformation

Use this 9-hour long 528 Hz music, known as the "Love Frequency" or "Miracle Tone", and transform your life and ...
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Here and Now Pleasantness

Here and Now Pleasantness

This mindfulness exercise on the Here and Now Pleasantness practice helps you to be more aware and present in your ...
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knowing fear

Knowing Fear – Partner Exercise

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Knowing Fear, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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A Guided Mind Adventure Story for Sleep Visit Pyramids Incas sleep hypnosis sleep meditation

A Guided Mind Adventure Story for Sleep: Visit Pyramids, Incas, sleep hypnosis, sleep meditation

Go on a meditative mind trip that takes you across the Pyramids and the Inca Trails and then finally culminating ...
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building empathy

Building Empathy

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Building Empathy, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Free Mindfulness Tests

Mindfulness Test

Have you taken up a mindfulness test? Get ready to test yourself and tap your consciousness to learn more about ...
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Mindful Living by Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman – Mindful Living

Mark Coleman, Prana Ambassador, talks about mindful living in this video. How can you live in the moment? How can ...
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Visualizing the Calm

Visualizing the Calm

You will learn to use the power of visualization, or mental rehearsal, to find a greater sense of calm when ...
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Donald-Rothberg

Right Livelihood And Vocation [Audio]

Right Livelihood And Vocation, by Donald Rothberg: About Donald Rothberg:Donald Rothberg, PhD, has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976, and has ...
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Surf the Body

Surf the Body (The Body Scan)

This mindfulness exercise is a guide for practicing the body scan, whereby you will be surfing your body to be ...
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How to Inquire Productively

How To Inquire Productively

Inquiring productively based on the three aspects of "what", "why", and "so what" to make better sense of how others' ...
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Emotional Chaos to Clarity

Emotional Chaos to Clarity

Emotional chaos comes to the mind, and what contributes to it is the mind's clinging to what it wants to ...
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Mindful sexuality

Love, Sexuality & Mindfulness

Matthew Brensilver talks about Love: Sexuality & Mindfulness. Love & Sexuality requires a lot of awareness and the sense of ...
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Loving-Kindness, Compassion, and Mindfulness

We have all heard stories about the power of love. No matter what form it comes in, love has the ability to inspire, heal, uplift, and encourage us, even during the heaviest times. But what is this force of love really? What is it in its truest sense? We often hear loving phrases passed around such as “unconditional love” and “loving-kindness,” but it is not always clear how these universal notions of love can be applied to our everyday lives amidst the challenges, hardships, and emotions we all face. As we begin to look more closely at what is meant by words like loving-kindness and unconditional love, we come to better understand what these notions of love refer to and how their essence blossoms alongside our mindfulness practice.

Understanding the Nature of Love

To help to better understand what is meant by unconditional love, it proves useful to first break these associated terms down into simple definitions. From there, we can expand upon these definitions to get a better sense of what unconditional love is and what it is not.

There are a variety of terms we might hear used when it comes to heart-based mindfulness practices. They might be considered synonymous because of the fact that they all point towards the same universal truth that resides in the heart and in all living things. However, there are small differences that exist between their definitions and what they each point to.

Compassion

Compassion is our ability to feel for the suffering of others, and to be moved by their experiences. It is a heartfelt experience of having genuine care and concern for what another person is going through.

Loving-Kindness

Known as metta in the Pali language, loving-kindness is a practice of cultivating compassion, understanding, and love for all living things, beginning with oneself. It is a practice of the Buddhist tradition that guides us to uncover our innate capacity of unconditional love.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is the force to which all heart-centered practices point. It is an acknowledgment that beneath everything that lives on the surface, there exists a universal current of love beneath. This notion asks us to love each moment and the people in it exactly as they are.

Unconditional love, compassion, and loving-kindness meditation does not require us to condone or accept any and all behavior, particularly abuse. Abuse should never be tolerated. What these practices do require of us is that we open our hearts a little bit further to our everyday interactions and associated reactions that separate us from others. Heart-centered mindfulness practice asks us to move further into the underlying oneness that binds us. Even when a relationship feels strained, whether that relationship is within ourselves or with another, these forces call us to inquire more deeply than the manner by which the conditioned mind habitually moves due to our conditioning.

Unconditional love and compassion, when practiced through either loving-kindness meditation or another heart-based practice, simply asks us to engage with the world through an open heart, rather than through the mind we are so accustomed to unconsciously engaging. It asks us to let go of the rational, analytic mind and return to a sense of openness within, a place that is better equipped to help us understand the root of whatever conflict is arising. Through consciously embracing these forces during meditation, or during any thought wave or interaction that arises, we hone in on our ability to pay attention. This is the art of mindfulness.

How Mindfulness Fuels the Heart

Mindfulness practice promotes the experience of unconditional love, inwardly and outwardly – that is, it supports the expression and deepening of positive heart-associated emotions such as compassion, empathy, understanding, connection, acceptance, and warmth.

How does mindfulness make the heart happy? There are a few studied mechanisms by which these practices work. Mindfulness practice can help us to:

  • Better understand and regulate our emotions, making it easier to find clarity within rising waves and to connect with others in the presence of whatever raw emotion is present
  • Experience increased empathy, making it easier for us to understand and share what another person is going through
  • Improve self-compassion, helping to reduce negative self-talk and increase acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are
  • Increase spirituality and/or deepen our understanding of oneness, connecting us to an intuitive knowing that we are all one and the same

It is often said that where attention goes energy flows, and no more clearly can this be witnessed than in heart-centered mindfulness practices. Heart-based meditations and mindfulness techniques help us to draw our attention away from the racing mind and into the still, open space of the heart. It calls us more deeply into the body, helping us to better understand everything that moves through us, including our own barriers to unconditional love.

Benefits of Loving-Kindness and Other Heart-Centered Meditations

The heart is the center of our being – our emotional, spiritual, and physical center. When we look towards ancient Vedic knowledge of the chakra system, we find that the heart chakra lies in the center. It is the balancing point between upward- and downward-moving energies. As such, it represents divine union between body and spirit, the visible and invisible, feminine and masculine, or between whatever other dualities can be observed.

There are countless benefits of exploring heart-centered mindfulness practices. With dedication and devotion given to the heart-space, positive benefits can include:

  • Increased resilience, both physical and emotional
  • Reduction of personal bias and negative judgment
  • Improved social interactions and relationships
  • Increased compassion and empathy
  • Reduced self-criticism and increased confidence

Heart-Centered Mindfulness Meditations and Resources

To help increase your experience of the positive benefits associated with mindfulness practice, there are a variety of tools and techniques you can consider exploring. When you are establishing your loving-kindness practice or other heart-centered meditation, it can be helpful to use free, guided recordings to keep your mind focused on the practice. Online worksheets can also help to strengthen your practice by guiding your conscious mind to the heart space and mindfully reflecting on whatever rests there.

Two simple techniques to awaken the heart are outlined below. For each of these mindfulness meditations, bring yourself to a comfortable seated position on a cushion or meditation bench, or in a straight-backed chair. Allow the shoulders to relax and the chest to open. Settle into the space by taking a few slow and steady breaths into the heart, allowing it to expand on the inhalation and soften on the exhalation. Once you are settled, you may begin.

Simple Heart-Based Mindfulness Meditation

  • Beginning by drawing your awareness deeply into the body by holding your attention on the natural flow of your breath. Follow each inhalation and each exhalation, noting any sensations present as the air moves along its path.
  • After a minute or two of breath focus, draw your attention to your stomach. Notice the way energy seems to flow alongside your shift in attention, perhaps witnessing the belly softening, rising, and falling more completely than before. Breathe into the belly for another minute, allowing yourself to come into a state of complete relaxation.
  • Finally, draw your awareness to the heart center. Allow the chest to expand as you breathe into the entirety of the lungs. Let the breath, as it moves through the heart space, be your anchor when thoughts arise.
  • Whenever the mind becomes entranced by a thought or story, simply observe it for a moment with unconditional compassion and acceptance, and then gently guide the thought down to the heart space. Resume focus on this area of the body – on this energetic center of your entire being. Allow the heart to expand in silent power as the mind subsides.
  • Sit with this for a minimum of ten or fifteen minutes, or for longer if you are comfortable with this practice. When you are ready to come back to the outer world, take a moment to offer gratitude to yourself for this practice. Then, draw your awareness to the physical body for a few breaths and then slowly open your eyes.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

  • Once you are grounded into the space you are in, take a few more moments to draw your awareness to the center of your chest. Take a few more deep breaths here.
  • Begin the practice by bringing your own self to mind, exactly as you are. Spend a few moments opening your heart to yourself and, once you are focused, silently speak the following words to offer yourself deep love and compassion:
    May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.
  • Repeat this series of phrases two more times, allowing yourself to be bathed in your own capacity for unconditional love and acceptance. Take your time you need to sit with these words.
  • When you are ready, allow the image of yourself to melt away and prepare to repeat this practice with three additional people in heart and mind:
    Someone with whom you are close
    Someone to whom you feel neutral
    Someone with whom you have challenges
  • For each of these people, take a few moments to bring them to mind and then heart, repeating the same series of words three times:
    May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.
  • Take your time with each individual, granting them the time and space to be held unconditionally.
  • When you are ready, let the last image fade away and then bring the whole world to your awareness, repeating the same set of words three times:
    May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.
  • Let all images dissolve as you rest in silence for a few more moments. Allow the energy of unconditional love to pass through every cell of the body before slowly returning your attention to the world around you.

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