Meditation is practiced by many to focus on their inner self and connect their mind, body, and soul. There are different types of meditation practices that help us focus on the present, reduce external stress and anxiety, and achieve a state of calmness.
In this article, we will look into detail about one such type of meditation – The Loving Kindness Meditation. We will also look at its benefits, how to practice it, and how CBD can play an important role in this meditation practice.
What is Loving-Kindness Meditation?
Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM), or ‘Metta’ meditation, is a self-care technique that is used to reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being. Metta is a Pali word for benevolence, friendship, affection, and kindness. People who practice LKM regularly are able to increase their capacity for forgiveness, self-love, acceptance, connection with others, and much more. The main idea behind LKM is to send kindness, your way or to others. The technique can be difficult as you need a lot of practice to allow yourself to receive kindness, or send it to people around us.
What are the benefits of practicing Loving Kindness Meditation?
When practicing LKM, the practitioner focuses benevolent and loving energy towards themselves and others. As with any other form of meditation, LKM requires a lot of practice to be able to master the art. It can be quite difficult at the beginning as an average person is usually not used to receiving or sending so much love.
Listed below are the main benefits of practicing LKM:
- Replaces negative emotions with positive ones.
- Increases vagal tone which helps increase the feeling of social connection towards others.
- Reduces migraines.
- Helps deal with chronic pain.
- Decreases post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).
- Reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.
- Increases gray matter volume.
- Increases empathy and emotional processing in the brain.
- Slows biological aging.
- Increases compassion and turns you into a more helpful and kind person.
- Decreases bias towards others.
- Increases social connection.
- Curbs self-criticism.
- Has long-term impact.
- Effective even if practiced for 5-10 minutes every day.
Although all of the above are science-backed benefits, there is not enough research or evidence to prove how LKM directly impacts the practitioner. However, many researchers and meditation experts advocate practicing LKM regularly to spread love and kindness and reap its long-term benefits.
Practicing Loving-Kindness Meditation
There are many different ways to practice LKM, each based on various Buddhist traditions. However, each variation consists of the same core psychological operation – generating kindness towards certain targets including yourselves and others. Given below are the steps to the most basic form of LKM, that can be practiced by beginners:
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax your muscles, and take a few deep breaths.
Imagine yourself experiencing complete emotional and physical wellness and inner peace. Imagine feeling acceptance for yourself, thanking yourself for all that you are, knowing that you are just right—just as you are. Breathe in feelings of love and breathe out any tension that you have.
Repeat positive, reassuring phrases to yourself. This helps focus on the feeling of self-love and enhances the effectiveness of the practice. Given below are a few examples of positive reassurances:
- May I be happy
- May I be safe
- May I be healthy, peaceful, and strong
Hold on to the feelings of warmth and self-compassion for a few moments. It is common to drift away from your attention from the practice. If you notice your attention starting to drift away, gently redirect it back to these feelings of loving-kindness.
Next, you can start to shift your focus and release this energy to others. Begin with someone who you are very close to, such as a spouse, a child, a parent, or a best friend. Feel your gratitude and love for them. Hold onto that feeling for a few moments. You can also get back to repeating assuring phrases, this time keeping the person in mind.
Once you have held onto these feelings toward that person, bring other important people from your life into your awareness, one by one, and envision them with perfect wellness and inner peace. Slowly shift your focus from one person to another. With enough practice, you may even want to include groups of people around the world.
Open your eyes when you feel like you have fulfilled the purpose of your meditation. It is a good practice to revisit how you felt during meditation throughout your day. Internalize how loving-kindness meditation feels, and return to those feelings by shifting your focus and taking a few deep breaths.
The role of CBD
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has achieved great popularity in the last decade mainly due to the medicinal properties it contains. Many researchers have concluded that CBD is helpful in dealing with various conditions like inflammation, joint and muscle pain, stress and anxiety, and much more.
The goal of any form of meditation practice, including LKM, is to attain a sense of calmness and focus on our inner self. Meditation experts all over the globe suggest that CBD can help enhance the effectiveness of meditation, as they both work towards reducing external stress and improving the overall quality of life. CBD and Loving-Kindness Meditation have a lot of similar benefits like reducing chronic pain, decreasing symptoms of PTSD and other schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, achieving calmness, and more. This makes CBD a perfect fit for practicing LKM.
If you want to know more about how to practice Loving Kindness Meditation, and how CBD can help with it, head on to this IGTV video by ThoughtCloud. If you are also looking to buy CBD products for yourself or someone else, ThoughtCloud is one of the most trusted online stores for CBD products.