How to cultivate loving kindness?

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#1
Hello everybody, I'm new to this forum.

I am in a process of constant self-improvement and now I'm trying to cultivate loving kindness. The problem is that so far I've not been able to generate such mental state. All the guided loving-kindness meditations I've found on the internet so far essentially use the same strategy to generate the experience of loving kindness: at some point they eventually ask you to remember a time when you felt intense deep love for somebody and then they ask you to redirect this feeling toward other people. And that's exactly the reason why none of these guided meditations has worked for me, because I cannot remember any situation in my past where I experienced intense love for anybody. It just doesn't exist in memory. Even if I think of my mother or my pets, I just don't feel love, it just doesn't happen. I mean, for example I can visualize my mother in my mind and stuff but the feeling of love would just not arise at all. Therefore, I think I need to find another approach to trigger the feeling of loving kindness, the problem is that I have no clue as to what approach I should take. Does there exist some alternative methodology to cultivate loving kindness tailored for those people like me who are not able to remember loving experiences from their past?

Looking forward to your responses.
Thank you in advance.
 
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#3
In order to solve your problem and move forward, I think you must start loving those close to you intimately and frequently express it.
Hi Todd, thank you for your answer. How can I exactly start loving those close to me intimately? I mean, how can I generate the feeling of intimate loving kindness towards those close to me? Wouldn't that be requiring me to be able to generate the feeling of loving kindness, which is actually my problem in the first place (it sounds like a recursion, an infinite loop)? Please, if you can deepen your answer and make it clearer with more information, examples, I would really appreciate it.
 

MoreSuccess

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#4
Its not necessary for it to be love or deep love. Seek the feeling of kindness, compassion, empathy, or friendliness. It may be easier to think of someone you feel bad for, maybe they are sick, have a lousy job, having relationship issues. Or rather than a particular person, think about how hard it must be to be homeless, or to have cancer, and contemplate how you wish them to recover. Most of us encounter people less fortunate than us that we can have some compassion for. Seek that feeling of compassion and try to hold it for a short while.

Personally I don't like the idea of using the past anyway. It's forcing you to recall old memories which have faded or didn't exist. Also it means trying to recapture a feeling from the past rather than create the feeling in the now. Many of our problems stem from too much thinking about the past or the future.
 
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#6
Ok, it seems that I should start by practicing compassion (karuna) instead of loving kindness (metta) first. Does anybody know a good source of guided compassion meditations?
 

J E Roberson

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#7
Great thread! Hey well being, I don't know what your ultimate goal is in wanting to cultivate lovingness but if it is just for the sake of lovingness then that is fricking awesome. I wanted to chime in because I noticed you keep mentioning mediation as the means to cultivating this skill. I teach an old but new paradigm of spirituality…. " integration" in which the goal is to take our spirituality into walking life and you may want to try it since the other route seems like a challenge.

When we integrate our spiritual nature in daily life we become a conduit for the living God. We rise in vibration and flow increasing more with the energy of our choice. This is done many ways in which I will mention two. The first is to love your heart and self. This is done by mirror work and Loving life.

Mirror work means we look in our eyes via a mirror and say I love you many times especially at the time when we are waking and before bed.

To love life means as we walk through the day whatever gets our attention we send love to by simply saying I love you to it. That can be sending love to a sound, a person or even a thought or emotion. Love it all deliberately and verbally even if just in mind and not audibly as the gift from the other side of the life veil.

From my experience we we are filled with love it can flow out, it may be hard to meditate on love if you are depleted of it. By filling your self up constantly with love and practicing it flowing out you are in essence clearing the pipe line to give abundantly in a loving way. We all have energy blocks and in this day in age with the energy shift we experienced just a few short years ago its time to hit the streets with our practices.

Meditation once you have mastered the flow will serve as a practice session which will enhance you ability to feel a certain state thus accessing it in daily life is easier.
Just some things to consider. Blessing to all in this thread.
 

Love Temeca

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#8
Hello everybody, I'm new to this forum.

I am in a process of constant self-improvement and now I'm trying to cultivate loving kindness. The problem is that so far I've not been able to generate such mental state. All the guided loving-kindness meditations I've found on the internet so far essentially use the same strategy to generate the experience of loving kindness: at some point they eventually ask you to remember a time when you felt intense deep love for somebody and then they ask you to redirect this feeling toward other people. And that's exactly the reason why none of these guided meditations has worked for me, because I cannot remember any situation in my past where I experienced intense love for anybody. It just doesn't exist in memory. Even if I think of my mother or my pets, I just don't feel love, it just doesn't happen. I mean, for example I can visualize my mother in my mind and stuff but the feeling of love would just not arise at all. Therefore, I think I need to find another approach to trigger the feeling of loving kindness, the problem is that I have no clue as to what approach I should take. Does there exist some alternative methodology to cultivate loving kindness tailored for those people like me who are not able to remember loving experiences from their past?

Looking forward to your responses.
Thank you in advance.

Hey friend,
I'm new like you, but I guess the best way to get started is to jump in where you believe you can add value. With that being said, I'd encourage you to start with cultivating that loving kindness with yourself. By that I mean, going through the process of finding out what you love about you and what that feels like to you first. Then, it will help to give you an idea about that feeling towards others. Love feels and looks differently for everyone especially with people having different love languages. (A book I'd recommend is Gary Chapman's the 5 Love Languages). Perhaps love for you is not an expression of a feeling but an expression of doing small task or receiving compliments and if so, that's perfect. Additionally, someone else's love language (let's say your mom as you mentioned) is about touch and that's when she feels the most loved. Then speaking her language in a way that she needs is an example of cultivating loving kindness towards her.

Finally, give yourself some credit for deciding that this is your current journey. That thought and that act in itself is cultivating loving kindness regardless if you have a particular 'feeling' about it. Your heart's desire is pure and puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.

Look within first. Love you first. Remember how you love you first. Know your love language. Then, decide if there is something different you could be doing.

Good luck. You can do it!

Temeca
 

aspecialist

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#9
Just in case you don't know, all of us have an unconscious mind where our life experiences are rooted into. These experiences create what are called "automatic programs" that run our lives. If they're not setup correctly, we'll likely not be able to take charge of our beliefs and behaviors. All these would translate into the kind of life that's either failing or miserable. You may learn more about unlocking your unconscious mind by visiting naturopathy expert Dr. Sundardas' web site.
 

Love Temeca

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#10
Just in case you don't know, all of us have an unconscious mind where our life experiences are rooted into. These experiences create what are called "automatic programs" that run our lives. If they're not setup correctly, we'll likely not be able to take charge of our beliefs and behaviors. All these would translate into the kind of life that's either failing or miserable. You may learn more about unlocking your unconscious mind by visiting naturopathy expert Dr. Sundardas' web site.
Aspecialist,

You said, "These experiences create what are called "automatic programs" that run our lives. If they're not setup correctly, we'll likely not be able to take charge of our beliefs and behaviors."

Hmmmm...I'm going to have to think about that. I do believe in the automatic programing from my studies in college about psychology, but I'm not sure about if they are not set up correctly that we cannot take charge of our beliefs and behaviors? I guess I'm thinking that even when they are set up incorrectly or wrong, that we still have a choice (especially as we get older) to take charge of our beliefs and behaviors. When we are presented with information that is contrary to our beliefs and behaviors, aren't we able to assimilate the new found information into our belief system? Or we can reject it or even adopt it completely?

I am currently looking for a naturopathic doctor for myself and I'm sure there's a lot I need to learn.

I am NOT saying that I think you are wrong at all...it's a profound thought that I personally need to do some thinking on. Thank you so much for sharing it. Would you mind sending me a link to Dr. Saunder's site? Thanks friend.

-t
 

Cynthia

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#11
now I'm trying to cultivate loving kindness. The problem is that so far I've not been able to generate such mental state.
Perhaps you need to start with something smaller! For example, it's easier to start with the present than the past. You might try deciding what might be loving kindness for you -- maybe even brainstorm a list that matches who you are in the present moment.

Then pick the simplest one that you can do.

It might be as simple as smiling at 100 people over the next 30 days.
 

aspecialist

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#12
Getting yourself into the mental state where you'd want to experience loving kindness is certainly a challenging one. It does not only involve a hundred percent focus and concentration, but it also requires a lot of patience to master. Get advise from people who know how to do this the best way possible. For more information, please visit naturopathy expert Dr. Sundardas' web sites.
 

Cynthia

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#13
Getting yourself into the mental state where you'd want to experience loving kindness
Aha! That may be the key here -- seeking first a mental state where you want to experiencing loving kindness.

I've often found that sitting quietly with an awareness of what you want opens you a little bit.

Perhaps a good step to cultivating loving kindness is to first seek an openness by sitting quietly.

At least, that might guide you in the right direction.
 
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#14
such great advice, I struggled with the same thing at one point. Im not sure if this would work for you but it worked for me. i started a grateful list, i wrote down about 80 things i am grateful for that i have, a home, food, family, friends, experiences absolutely anything i was happy to have now in my life. i read my grateful list every morning. after a while i started to be grateful for everyday surroundings and started taking notice of just how magnificent our world is, this sparked love and joy in me that has just stuck.

i battled with meditation a lot too. i found i would meditate when i was frustrated with a situation which never worked. instead of meditation i use a trick where i imagine myself standing in mind with a glass wall in front of me with all my thoughts behind the glass wall, i cant see what the thoughts are but they are not allowed to cross my glass wall. it takes a bit of practice to get it t right but that is what worked for me.

i hope you have found what works for you, after all we are all different and i would just keep searching until you find your golden nugget :)