Last week we discussed the positive benefits of Valentine’s Day and reviewed Dr. Reitman’s article, Valentine’s Day Benefits.  In his article, he encourages us to embrace the spirit of loving and caring throughout the year, not just on specific holidays. “However, for that to occur, you must have faith that good things are possible, and you need to put out effort and energy to voice your feelings of love, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every evening, every morning, and in the middle of every day. It requires you to open your heart to every person whose love you desire, despite their failings and shortcomings; to recognize the aid they provide you, despite their occasional lack of understanding, and to praise them instead of criticizing them.”

Wow. That’s a tall order. Where to start? How about creating a lovingkindness meditation, in which you send well wishes or positive thoughts, in this order:

  1. To you
  2. To someone you like
  3. To someone neutral
  4. To someone you love
  5. To someone you dislike
  6. To all beings

You may not immediately think of someone for each of the six categories listed above, and that’s ok.  Let’s practice with a very basic meditation on lovingkindness taken from The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace by Jack Kornfield. We’ll expand upon it later.

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.

Suggested reading: Valentine’s Day Benefits by Dr. Edward Reitman

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