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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. 

Eye Gazing Worksheet

Eye Gazing

If you are having trouble focusing, or feel too distracted, this mindfulness exercise on Trataka or eye gazing will help ...
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Refreshing

Refreshing

In mindfulness practice, you learn to train and work with this tool in an intentional, focused way. Listen to this ...
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4 Ways to Become More Disciplined

4 Ways to Become More Disciplined

Have you ever struggled to be more disciplined? Do you find yourself going through phases where you're motivated and on ...
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3 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Love Life

3 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Love Life

The mental dedication and physical commitment necessary to achieve the benefits of daily mediation also have several surprising benefits for your ...
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Guided Relaxation and Healing for Children & Parents

Guided Relaxation and Healing for Children & Parents

Have your children or students listen once a day to make learning easier. Parents. Don’t be shy about using this! ...
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mindfulness meditation videos, monopoly of life

The Monopoly of Life

Life is like a game of monopoly – none of the things we acquire is really ours. It all goes ...
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Lesson from Nature

Chakra Balancing (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Chakra Balancing. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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sourcing where your self judgment comes from

Sourcing Where Your Self-Judgment Comes From

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Self-Judgment, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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Mindfulness of Triggering Others

Mindfulness of Triggering Others

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise of Triggering Others, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Strengths Exploration

Strengths Exploration

This Strengths Exploration Exercise will help you identify your strengths and how you can use them to your advantage in ...
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Everything is Spiritual Practice

Everything is Spiritual Practice

Sylvia Boorstein leads a spontaneous meditation and tells that the spiritual practice happens even when in community with others, so ...
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Being Present

Being Present

Sharon Salzberg explores intimacy within the context of how we relate to ourselves in Being Present. How do you relate ...
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Bill Duane Mindfulness Practitioners Need Community

Mindfulness Practitioners Need Community

Bill Duane takes a little less than two minutes to talk about how important it is to have a community ...
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Don’t Push

Don’t Push

Read about the Buddha's teaching on caring in action as explained by this book by Ajahn Amaro.that investigates the second ...
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How To Mend Strained Relationships During The Holidays

How To Mend Strained Relationships During The Holidays

The holidays can be a painful period for some people. If you're ready to try and mend strained relationships, follow ...
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Guided Sleep Meditation for Insomnia Sleep Relaxation Calm your Mind

Guided Sleep Meditation for Insomnia (Sleep, Relaxation, Calm your Mind)

Calm your mind and fall into a deep sleep by listening to this spoken guided meditation for insomnia and relaxation ...
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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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My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things

This mindfulness exercise on My Favorite Things helps you focus on things that you enjoy, bring you a sense of ...
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Using Sounds As The Object Of Your Awareness

Using Sounds As The Object Of Your Awareness

Using Sounds As The Object Of Your Awareness is a unique guided meditation script that makes use of sounds instead ...
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Shadow Exercise

Shadow Exercise

Use the free shadow exercise worksheet to help open up the hidden depths of your creative self. It can also ...
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Working with Addiction

Working with Addiction

Tara Brach talks about Working with Addiction. She started with the story of the Hungry Ghosts. Attachments and addictions are ...
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locating the self

Locating the Self

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Locating the Self, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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“Me Too” In Popular Mindfulness Communities

“Me Too” In Popular Mindfulness Communities

See how the "Me Too" movement in Popular Mindfulness communities had spread. Get a better understanding of power through the ...
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Creativity Is Madness [Video]

Creativity Is Madness

There is a connection between creativity and madness. Artists are mad men who are somehow able to domesticate their madness ...
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How to Meditate in a Moment

How to Meditate in a Moment

A quick-fire guide in how meditation is possible in even just a single minute - anytime and anywhere, with these ...
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Stop

What Do You Want To Stop

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on What You Want to Stop, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this ...
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Lesson from Nature

Guided Compassion Meditation [Audio]

Guided Compassion Meditation by Bonnie Duran:So, we know that compassion is one of four Brahma Vihara’s. It’s a very wholesome and ...
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Mindfulness Breathing

Three Mindful Breaths

Mindfulness meditation can be as simple as taking 3 deep, mindful breaths. In this free mindfulness exercise, Sean Fargo teaches ...
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Learning to Belly Breathe

Learning to Belly Breathe

A chest breather takes shorter, faster breaths. By getting the air in the deeper part of the lungs, you’ll actually ...
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One Complete Cycle of Breathing

One Complete Cycle of Breath

Great for beginners, this 1 complete cycle of breath guided meditation by Sean Fargo teaches to find the posture which ...
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Gratitude Letter

Gratitude Letter

In this mindfulness exercise, you will write a letter of gratitude to someone you appreciate, allowing you to experience the ...
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Jack Kornfield: 12 Principles of Forgiveness

Jack Kornfield: 12 Principles of Forgiveness

The acclaimed author and teacher explains the principles that are integral to the process of forgiving, according to Buddhist philosophy.One: ...
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Self-Hypnosis

Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis can be a tool to assist in weight loss and addiction recovery, and to relax, relieve stress and anxiety, ...
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Golfing With Monkeys

Golfing With Monkeys

Tara Brach talks about Golfing With Monkeys. She started with a story of monkeys proliferating in a golf course in ...
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I Am Grateful For

I Am Grateful For

With this Mindfulness Exercise, you will be asked to list down some of the things that you are grateful for, ...
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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 ...
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Mindfulness While Speaking with Others

Mindfulness While Speaking With Others

Mindfulness while speaking with others is a guided meditation script that aids you in bringing awareness to what you are ...
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GUIDED-MEDITIATION-WITH-DAN-SIEGEL-WHEEL-OF-AWARENESS

Wheel Of Awareness [Video]

Watch this video Wheel of Awareness by Dan Siegel - A dhamma talk on how to work with thoughts and ...
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Tune Up with Music

Tune Up With Music

Did you know that music is capable of altering your mood? In this mindfulness exercise, you’ll begin to learn how ...
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tracking your insights

Tracking Your Insights

Do you know, how mindfulness exercises help you to track your insights? Explore the best mindfulness practices to learn more ...
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Willingness to Question

Willingness to Question

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Willingness to Question, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Generosity and Gratitude

Generosity and Gratitude

Donald Rothberg talks about the relationship between Generosity and Gratitude. It's the spirit of giving is based on the feeling ...
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Lesson from Nature

Guided Meditation [Audio] by Christina Feldman

Guided Meditation, by Christina Feldman:In the beginning of this sitting, just checking in with your body, it’s finding the posture ...
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how to untie mental knots

How to Untie Mental Knots

Explore how to untie mental knots with the practices of mindfulness exercises . To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Mental ...
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Bonus 45-minute Meditation

Bonus 45-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 45-minute meditation from ...
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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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