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Want to be a kinder person in one minute a day? Try this!

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

1 quick tip for being a kinder person

An SUV drove towards my car on a quiet neighborhood street. It was barreling down the middle of the road, forcing me to veer closer to the curb. “Nice driving, dink!” I muttered. Then I remembered that I had vowed to beam some lovingkindness out into the world. I amended my sentiment to include “May you be at ease and happy.” 

I’ve been meditating daily for almost a year. I've read a little about lovingkindness meditation. A lovingkindness meditation is a practice for developing compassion. In a lovingkindness meditation you first send positive wishes to yourself, and then to others. When I was exploring this concept I found a lovingkindness meditation I liked by author Jack Kornfield:

May I be filled with lovingkindness.

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind.

May I be at ease and happy.

 

May you be filled with lovingkindness.

May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May you be well in body and mind.

May you be at ease and happy.

I’m using the Headspace app for my primary daily meditation practice, so I decided to incorporate Jack Kornfield’s lovingkindness meditation in a different way. I copied the eight sentences above and printed them. 

I put the pages on my refrigerator and on my full length mirror as prompts. Each day focuses on one of the meditations. Monday has two, since there are eight sentences. So on Mondays I say throughout the day, “May I be filled with lovingkindness.” I also think of someone I know and say, “May Angela be at ease and happy.” 

DAILY LOVINGKINDNESS MEDITATION

Monday

May I be filled with lovingkindness. 

AND 

May ___ be at ease and happy. 

Tuesday

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

Wednesday

May I be well in body and mind. 

Thursday

May I be at ease and happy. 

Friday

May ___ be filled with lovingkindness. 

Saturday

May ___ be safe from inner and outer dangers.

Sunday

May ___ be well in body and mind.  

My husband Chris also does this practice with me. We usually do it in the morning or while he’s cooking dinner. I’ll start by saying, “May Theresa be well in body and mind.” He’ll respond with “May Charlie be well in body and mind.” 

This lovingkindness practice came out of my Zen month, when I was attempting to avoid saying negative things. Every time I would say something negative without offering a solution, I would switch my bracelet from one wrist to the other. That exercise was enlightening and challenging. 

Now when I catch myself thinking something negative, like “Nice driving, dink!” I sometimes mentally tack on one of the lovingkindness meditations. It does tend to stop my negative thoughts. I rarely follow a thought like “May you be safe from inner and outer dangers” with something like, “God, you’re an asshole.” Note that I said rarely. 

If you’d like to try my daily lovingkindness practice, feel free to copy / paste my daily reminders. 

I welcome comments and shares! I'd love to hear your thoughts. 


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2 comments

  • Hi Megan! Thank you! And thanks for inspiring me with your awesome blog posts. Every time I read one of blogs, I received a subtle kick in my butt to write again. I was slacking for a bit.

    Kelley Burke on
  • I love your positivity :) I must work on making my frequent “God, you’re an asshole” comments more rare, considering that I also yell at other drivers on the daily. (Note to self: that other driver probably thinks he’s in the right and that you just have a bee in your car, so stop flailing like a crazy person). Thanks for the post!

    Megan Warner on

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