LOVING KINDNESS Meditation for Ukraine and All Who Are Suffering

Like many of you, I find myself feeling helpless for the suffering that continues to be inflicted upon Ukrainians and the senseless acts of war that are causing a ripple effect of pain for innocent people around the world. It is difficult to know what to do our sadness when actions to make it any better seem often out of our own hands. I find myself asking, is watching the news helpful or just adding to the suffering? What organizations are the best to donate to or volunteer with, if that is even a tangible possibility? How do we process the emotional energy of this war when if feels so helpless inside? The internal questions go on and on.

However, over the past few weeks practicing and teaching LOVING KINDNESS (Metta) meditation on global platforms, such as Insight timer, has been grounding, connecting, and helpful. According to Tedx speaker, Emma Seppala Ph.D. and her article in Psychology today, "Research shows that Loving-Kindness Meditation has tremendous benefits from greater well-being to providing relief from illness and improving emotional intelligence." LOVING KINDNESS (metta) meditation is a Buddhist practice that was taught by Buddha 2600 years ago as a way to help others be free from suffering.  In essence, we cultivate more love and kindness by first sending it to ourselves which then allows us to have the pure energy to send it to others.

To try Loving Kindness, here are the meditation steps that I take daily. I spend 5 minutes on loving kindness when I wake up, before sleep, and when I am feeling helpless about the suffering of others. The positive ripple effect of LOVING KINDNESS has no end:

LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION

1. Place your hands on your heart and your feet solidly on the ground (or soil) in front of you, this connects you to the earth and grounds your body. Slow your breathing and bring your awareness to the sound and feeling of your breath. When you feel your body start to calm, say to yourself and fill yourself with the positive energy of these words:

MAY YOU BE SAFE

MAY YOU BE HEALTHY

MAY YOU BE FREE FROM SUFFERING

MAY YOU KNOW YOU ARE LOVED

2. Place your hands in your lap, palm side up. Bring your awareness to (1) person in your life, someone that you care about. See them in your mind's eye, feel their energy with you, and when you feel the connection, say to them:

MAY YOU BE SAFE

MAY YOU BE HEALTHY

MAY YOU BE FREE FROM SUFFERING

MAY YOU KNOW YOU ARE LOVED

3. Bring your awareness to your community, your neighbors, your family, your colleagues - whoever comes to mind, those you are close with and those you are not. Hold them all within your mind and as you do, say to them:

MAY YOU BE SAFE

MAY YOU BE HEALTHY

MAY YOU BE FREE FROM SUFFERING

MAY YOU KNOW YOU ARE LOVED

4. For the final step, hold the people of Ukraine and all suffering from the pain of this war in your mind. When you feel the connection, say to them from the very center of your heart:

MAY YOU BE SAFE

MAY YOU BE HEALTHY

MAY YOU BE FREE FROM SUFFERING

MAY YOU KNOW YOU ARE LOVED

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Questions about this practice? Say hello to Julie Skon 

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