Mindfulness Exercises For Loving Kindness & Compassion

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

Mindfulness of Sensations and Breath

Mindfulness of Sensations and Breath

Tara Brach takes you through The Art and Science of Meditation. Listen to the first session as it explores the ...
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Mindfulness for Kids Just Breathe

Mindfulness for Kids – “Just Breathe”

“Just Breathe” is a short film featuring elementary school students who use mindfulness and meditation to cope with a range ...
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Mindfulness meditation

The Tall Poppy and the Shrinking Violet

James Baraz describes the characteristics of the tall poppy and shrinking violet to oppression and benevolence. The mind can be ...
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Mindfulness Exercises

It’s Time to Rise

Qoya is based on the idea through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. Using ...
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Insight Practice

Insight Practice

Donald Rothberg teaches advanced meditative technology (just kidding). He talks about the 3 ways of seeing to aid in insight ...
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Schizophrenia and Depression

Schizophrenia and Depression

People with schizophrenia are overwhelmed by too much possibility, whereas those suffering from depression are subject to a failure of ...
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Flowering of Compassion

You Are Not Your Fault

Wes Nisker talks about the topic You Are Not Your Fault. Wes explains that our existence is no accident, that ...
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Calming Peaceful Music

Calming Peaceful Music

Relax. Let go of the stress & tension & fall asleep better & faster with the soothing sounds of our ...
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How To Focus Your Attention

How To Focus Your Attention

This guided meditation by Sean Fargo is about How To Focus Your Attention. Relax and stay alert at the same ...
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judging your future

Judging Your Future

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Judging Your Future, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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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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Describing Our Mindful Experience

Words for Mindfully Reconnecting

This Describing Our Mindful Experience practice contains words & phrases to capture the present moment. Leaving stress, anxiety, & negativity ...
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Meditations 6 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditations 6

Meditations 6. The Buddha's own search was a search for true happiness, a happiness that doesn't age, grow ill, or ...
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Bringing Your Mind Back From Thoughts

Bringing Your Mind Back From Thoughts

Bringing Your Mind Back From Thoughts. This guides listeners to liken their thoughts to snowflakes. It encourages a shift in ...
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Integral Life Practice Ebook

Integral Life Practice

Our Integral Life Practice kit turns Integral learning into accessible, applied practices for gaining more perspective and control of your ...
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417Hz Wipes Out All the Negative Energy

417 Hz | Wipes Out All the Negative Energy

Listen to this 9-hour long 417 Hz Solfeggio miracle sleep music and wipe out all the negative energy from inside ...
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Gladdening the mind

Gladdening the Mind

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation about Gladdening the Mind. The Buddha taught the value of gladdening the mind as ...
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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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Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature

Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature [Audio]

Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature is a guided meditation lead by Tara Brach a meditation teacher, psychologist and ...
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Multiply Your Meditation Benefits

Multiply Your Meditation Benefits

Multiply your meditation benefits - it grows when you have a sangha community to support you. It’s difficult to practice ...
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Dealing with Difficult Times in Life

Dealing with Difficult Times in Life

Five steps for dealing with difficult times in your life: set small, simple daily goals; be your best self despite ...
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How Do People React To Me

How Do People React To Me

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-do-People-React-to-Me.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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The Secret of Life - Alan Watts

The Secret of Life

Alan Watts says the real secret of life is to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the ...
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Mindfulness exercise

The Four Immeasurable Qualities [Audio]

The Four Immeasurable Qualities, by Ayya Anandabodhi:So, this morning’s reflection of death, contemplation of death. Probably not something you hear ...
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Secrets to Developing Emotional Mastery

Secrets to Developing Emotional Mastery

Valuable tips from Brendon Burchard that will allow you to to gain better control over your emotions and how this ...
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mindfulness of dating

Mindfulness of Dating

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mindfulness-of-Dating.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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The Paradox of Becoming

The Paradox of Becoming

The Buddha’s analysis of becoming throws a great deal of light on how imaginary, fictional, or dream worlds are created ...
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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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Nature of Awareness

Melting Into Love

Anam Thubten urges us to melt into love. Our mind is like water. Its nature is to flow and pristine, ...
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Giving Yourself Compassion for Failures and Mistakes

Giving Yourself Compassion for Failures and Mistakes

Giving Yourself Compassion for Failures and Mistakes. This meditation is designed to help you feel compassion for the fact that ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Exploring the Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Exploring the Breath. What is your relationship with your breathing? Very broadly, is it a ...
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Re-relaxing The Drifting Mind With A Home Base

Re-relaxing The Drifting Mind With A Home Base

Re-relaxing the Drifting Mind With A Home Base. The mind has a tendency to continually bubbling to the surface, so ...
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Knowing that Attention is Present

Knowing that Attention is Present

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to attention mindfulness awareness, to be mindfully aware of the occurring, to know the occurrence ...
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Lesson from Nature, Allergy and Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat: Allergy & Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat for Allergy & Sinus Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones ...
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Relax in Virtual Reality [Teaser]

Relax in Virtual Reality

Bring peace, joy, and calm back into your daily life with the virtual relaxation app Guided Meditation VR. Use at ...
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Meditations 3 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditations 3

When we look for happiness, we tend to look far away. Even when we're meditating, we tend to look far ...
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How To Communicate Like A Leader [Video]

How To Communicate Like A Leader [Video]

Find out in this video how a leader-manager can elicit internal commitment from his team through conscious communication. A true ...
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Mountain Meditation FI

Mountain Meditation

The Mountain Meditation is designed to cultivate stillness and calm and to connect with our inner strength and stability in ...
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Native American Music for Healing

Native American Music for Healing

9 hours of Native American flute music to aid your guided meditation practice, ultimately for Shamanic Astral Projection and Healing ...
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Meditation to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress [Video]

Meditation to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress [Video]

This is a mindfulness meditation with Josh Wise. This meditation will help you connect with your breath. Relax. Let go ...
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Using The Power Of Your Mind

Using The Power Of Your Mind

Using The Power Of Your Mind is a short guided meditation script that brings out your mind's potential through visualization, ...
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opening and closing to life

Opening and Closing to Life

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Opening-and-Closing-to-Life.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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Slow Wake Meditation Music

SLOW WAKE

The Slow Wake meditation music is ideal for any mindfulness exercise you want to practice. Get into a meditative state ...
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Focusing Your Attention Using Breath

Focusing Your Attention Using Breath

Focusing Your Attention Using Breath. Today I’ll guide you through a focused attention practice focusing on the breath, this will ...
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noting the effects of feeling unappreciated

Noting the Effects of Feeling Unappreciated

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Noting-the-Effects-of-Feeling-Unappreciated.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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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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