Loving-Kindness Meditation for Stepparents
by childless stepparent
“Just as compassion is the wish that all sentient beings be free of suffering, loving-kindness is the wish that all may enjoy happiness. As with compassion, when cultivating loving-kindness it is important to start by taking a specific individual as a focus of our meditation, and we then extend the scope of our concern further and further, to eventually encompass and embrace all sentient beings.”
~H.H. Dalai Lama
In loving-kindess meditation, we use a real person as the focus of our meditation, and we work on one person at a time.
It’s all about breaking down barriers between yourself and others and extending the reach of your compassion and love. Here’s how to practice:
–> Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Breathe in deeply three times, filling and emptying your lungs fully. Release any tension with each exhale.
–> Begin by thinking of a neutral person, someone who inspires no strong feelings in you. Rest your attention on that person. Breathe. With each inhale, feel your heart soften with kindness. With each exhale, extend that kindness to this person.
–> Now think of a friend or family member with whom you’re close. Rest your attention on that person and extend loving-kindness compassion to them.
–> Now think of someone in your life who inspires great respect and admiration: a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual guide. Rest your attention on that person and extend loving-kindness compassion to them.
–> Last, think of someone who has caused you pain. This is the hard one. Breathe in, breathe out. Rest your attention on that person and extend loving-kindness compassion to them.
Try this: Think of the most difficult person in your life right now as a stepparent. It may be your spouse, your spouse’s former spouse, your spouse’s child, or even yourself! Practice loving-kindness meditation with that person in mind.
Breathe. Step back. Let go.