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Cultivating Loving-Kindness

As shared from Nancy Showalter's Blog

"Fire of my fire. Become all that I AM." - Maitreya

Loving-kindness, also known as metta in the Buddhist tradition, is a fundamental concept that refers to the cultivation of a boundless and selfless love for all beings, including ourselves. It is a practice that is rooted in compassion, empathy, and goodwill towards all, regardless of our differences. Loving-kindness is not just a feeling, but an action that involves extending care and concern to others, even those who we may consider our enemies.

The ascended master Kuthumi says, “May you know the one great quality that is sought after that comes from the auric rings of Maitreya and his true bodhisattvas. It is the quality of kindness, almost overlooked in this hurried world, almost thought of as unnecessary. Yet what do you remember most about anyone? A kindness, a gesture, a sincere concern, a practical helpfulness, a perception of your need before you yourself know it.”

Loving-kindness practice involves several stages, starting with developing positive feelings towards oneself, then expanding to loved ones, acquaintances, strangers, and finally, to all beings. The practice requires one to cultivate a sense of warmth, tenderness, and kindness towards oneself and others. This involves intentionally focusing on positive attributes of oneself and others, while acknowledging and accepting their imperfections and faults.

Do not overlook practicing loving-kindness to yourself. Sometimes we are so focused on others that we do not realize our own self-esteem suffers because we are not kind to ourselves.

One of the key benefits of loving-kindness practice is that it helps to reduce negative emotions such as anger, resentment, and hatred. By cultivating positive emotions towards others, we gradually develop a more compassionate and empathetic mindset, which helps to counteract negative thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, leads to greater inner peace, happiness, and contentment.

Loving-kindness practice also helps to strengthen our relationships with others. By developing a sense of kindness and empathy towards those around us, we create a safe and supportive environment that fosters trust, connection, and mutual respect. This can lead to improved communication, better conflict resolution, and more meaningful and fulfilling relationships.

Furthermore, loving-kindness practice has been shown to have numerous physical and psychological benefits. Research has found that regular practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, improve immune function, and increase prosocial behavior.

So loving-kindness is a powerful practice that can bring profound benefits to ourselves and others. By cultivating a boundless and selfless love, we create a more compassionate and empathetic mindset that helps to counteract negative thoughts and feelings. This leads to greater inner peace, happiness, and contentment, and strengthens our relationships with others. Whether we practice for ourselves, our loved ones, or all beings, the practice of loving-kindness can transform our lives and bring more compassion and empathy into the world.

Practice loving-kindness this week by focusing on being consciously aware of your "mental chatter" and immediately recognize and reverse any negative thoughts about yourself or others. This will help you begin to create a momentum of practicing loving-kindness.

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