Friday, September 11, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor. Try a Loving Kindness Meditation

Would you imagine that loving one’s neighbors can improve feelings of self-confidence and reduce depression and physical symptoms? The loving kindness meditation has been empirically studied and the results suggest just that.

How does this work, one might ask? It seems that simply sitting calmly, breathing abdominally and focusing inward has multiple benefits. The loving kindness meditation appears to augment these gains by also increasing positive emotion. Positive emotions, in turn, are linked to positive outcomes in life like success and good health. Generally, the meditation begins with extending the feeling of acceptance and good will to oneself. Gradually, the acceptance is extended outward to others one loves, likes, respects or simply knows, and even to those one dislikes. In this way, it’s also like a forgiveness (and self-forgiveness) practice. Oh, and it induces a loving attitude toward the self and others.

Try it yourself at BuddhaNet Audio or Beliefnet.
And Imagine (John Lennon).