• You are here:
  • Home »

Mindfulness Exercises For Loving Kindness & Compassion

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

Small Boat Great Mountain

Small Boat, Great Mountain

Small Boat, Great Mountain by Amaro Bhikkhu contains Theravadan Reflections on the Natural Great Perfection. It has references to Ajahn ...
Read More
Finding The Breath

Finding The Breath

Finding the Breath is a breath-centered meditation, this very simple guided meditation script offers a brief introduction into mindful breathing ...
Read More
How to Be Sad [Video]

How to Be Sad [Video]

There's nothing wrong with being sad sometimes. Don't shut out your emotions of sadness, but learn how to deal with ...
Read More
Having an Inner Smile FI

Having an Inner Smile

Having an inner smile means we’re greeting our experience with more kindness and openness. Here are ways to maintain an ...
Read More
Fall Asleep in 20 Minutes

Fall Asleep in Under 20 Minutes

This guided sleep meditation, accompanied by blissful and calming track with nature sounds including rain, can make you fall asleep ...
Read More
Tranquil Body Scan Meditation

Tranquil Body Scan Meditation

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation Tranquil Body Scan. This improves calmness and awareness with your body. It also energizes ...
Read More
Guided Compassion Meditation [Audio]

Guided Compassion Meditation [Audio]

Compassion—this capacity to meet what is difficult without following them into despair, overwhelm, or shutdown, or indifference, an open heart ...
Read More
Increasing Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

Increase Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

This guided meditation helps focus on the present moment in order to improve one's productivity rate, offering helpful strategies to ...
Read More
Aware of Awareness

Aware of Awareness

Are you aware of awareness? By experiencing different states of awareness, you're becoming familiar with the vast terrain of consciousness.Are ...
Read More
karma and intention

Karma and Intention

Gil talks about intention and karma. Part of the core of mindfulness is the appreciation of the present moment with ...
Read More
Mindfulness of Aspiration

Mindfulness of Aspiration

Sharon Salzberg talks about Mindfulness of Aspiration, not as a synonym of desire, but as a harnessing of our imagination, ...
Read More
Mindfulness Meditation Guide and Journal

Mindfulness Meditation Guide and Journal

Mindfulness meditation guide and journal are useful tools to bring awareness and peace of mind in your day-to-day work and ...
Read More
Imagining Your Tree of Knowledge

Imagining Your Tree of Knowledge

Imagining your tree of knowledge is a guided meditation script that aids one to gain insight and inspiration to higher ...
Read More
Quality or Virtue

Cultivating a Quality or Virtue

Mindfulness exercises practice for cultivating quality or virtue of your mind, heart and body. Explore best mindfulness practices to know ...
Read More
Simple Sleep Meditation

Simple Sleep Meditation

Simple Sleep Meditation. A guided meditation for sleep, this one has listeners feeling deeply into the comforts of sleep. It's ...
Read More
Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry?

Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry?

Given how difficult the world can often be, should we cry – or might we still laugh? In this video ...
Read More
New Silent Meditations With Bell Sounds

New Silent Meditations With Bell Sounds

If meditating with a teacher is not your thing, you can download our free audios of silent meditation with bell ...
Read More
Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Free-Floating in Discomfort

Ines Freedman leads a guided meditation on Free-Floating in Discomfort. This meditation alleviates the discomfort of pain and increases calm ...
Read More
Body Scan Meditation

Body Scan Meditation

A body scan meditation is a great way to relieve tension. Get into a comfortable position. “Scan” your body from ...
Read More
bringing mindfulness to marriage changes

Bringing Mindfulness to Marriage Changes

Bring mindfulness to marriage changes with the practices of mindfulness exercises using this reflection worksheet to assess your heart, thoughts ...
Read More
The 70 Rule or Why 7 Is the New

The 70% Rule: Why 7 Is The New 10

According to the 70% Rule, exerting a 70% effort is already very good or good enough. Find out whether perfectionism ...
Read More
Two kinds of happiness

Two Kinds Of Happiness

Tara Brach talks about the topic Two Kinds of Happiness. The Buddha said I teach one thing only, and that ...
Read More
Fear and Doubt

Fear and Doubt

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Fear and Doubt. Fear is something that arises from not knowing and uncertainty. Doubt arises from ...
Read More
noting the effects of feeling unappreciated

Noting the Effects of Feeling Unappreciated

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Feeling Unappreciated, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Practicing For Oneself Is Complicated

Matthew Brensilver talks about doing Dharma Practice for Oneself is Complicated. But doing it for the benefit of all beings ...
Read More
the is of your identity

The I’s of Your Identity

The i's of your identity. This mindfulness exercise brings your thought to discern and know more about your identity. This ...
Read More
Lessons from Nature, Fruits of Practice

The Fruits of Practice

Jack Kornfield talks about the Fruits of Meditation Practice. A greater sense of well-being in the body, it comes from ...
Read More
Coming back

Coming Back

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation about Coming Back. In the coming back, the key piece is the quality or ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Alleviate Stress With Three Deep Breaths

Alleviate Stress With Three Deep Breaths

Alleviate Stress with Three Deep Breaths. This script guides the listener to adopt a simple stress release technique – that ...
Read More
Working with trauma

Working with Trauma

Tara Brach talks about Working with Trauma. Loving-kindness creates a space for you. Bring to mind the people that love ...
Read More
Guided Standing Meditation [Audio] by Ayya Anandabodhi

Guided Standing Meditation [Audio]

Guided Standing Meditation by Ayya Anandabodhi. In preparation for 15-minute walking meditation, standing meditation is where mindfulness starts ...
Read More
How to Manage Difficult Conversations

How To Manage Difficult Conversations

A useful tip for achieving better results out of difficult conversations by simply changing the way we think about it ...
Read More
Meditation

I Am – Meditation

Giovanni Dienstmann leads a guided meditation starting with anchoring the attention in the body and breathing, then directing to consciousness ...
Read More
Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Letting In The Love

James Baraz explains that the relations we have, our connections are channels of positive energies that make us feel alive ...
Read More
Humor Therapy

Humor Therapy

Laughter enhances our quality of life. This mindfulness exercise includes a meditation that you can practice whenever you need humor ...
Read More
Understanding Your Emotions

Understanding Your Emotions

Understanding Your Emotions. This meditation script is designed to visualize emotions and understand them with their physical sensations & thought ...
Read More
The Five Hindrances

The Five Hindrances

Joseph Goldstein holds a Q&A session about the 5 hindrances. The 5 hindrances are sensory desire, ill will, sloth, restlessness, ...
Read More
Lesson from Nature

Menstrual Cramp Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Menstrual Cramp Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
Read More
The Lightness of Laughter

The Lightness of Laughter

Lightness of laughter show that having a more cheerful disposition can help us live longer, too, as well as helping ...
Read More
Make Exercise Fun

Make Exercise Fun

We can make exercise fun and at the same time get the fitness results we desire by trying these strategies: ...
Read More
Lesson from Nature, Pain Relief

Pain Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Pain Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
Read More
Rumi - My Soul is from Elsewhere

Rumi – My Soul is from Elsewhere

In this poem, Rumi reflects on the deep self of the soul. He writes that his soul is from elsewhere, ...
Read More
A meditation on joy

A meditation on joy [Audio]

A meditation on joy, by Zohar Lavie:About Zohar Lavie:Zohar has been practicing meditation since 1995. She is particularly interested in ...
Read More
A Truly Life Changing Guided Meditation for Sleep

A Truly Life Changing Guided Meditation for Sleep

This guided ASMR meditation will help you fall asleep fast, deeply and soundly at bedtime and wake up mindfully clear ...
Read More

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.

Browse More Categories

>