Sending loving kindness to your body
Find five or ten minutes quiet time
Sit or lie in a comfortable position
Listen to the sounds you can hear outside the room
Listen to the sounds you can hear inside the room
Bring your attention onto your body, the contact points, the chair/bed/mat beneath you. Your hands resting.
Bring your attention onto your breathing
Place one hand on your chest and begin thinking about compassion
The loving kindness you might feel towards a puppy or a kitten
Now send this feeling to yourself via… heat radiating out from your chest…. Visualising light radiating through your body…. Saying to yourself, ‘May I be happy, may I be well, may I be free from suffering.’
Whatever your method, and even if you feel you can’t, intention is everything. Now focus on sending this compassion specifically to your body.
People often focus on the external, what the body looks like
Let us also go inwards and think about our internal organs. It’s funny how the most important bits are often the bits we think about the least. Whatever our level of human biology knowledge, reflect on the intricate systems and almost magical way in which our bodies work.
Thank your feet for walking you through life
Thank your hands for all you do through them
Admire the parts of your body that you like
Admire the parts that work well
Send compassion to any parts that don’t work so well
Try to soften towards and move towards acceptance of the parts you don’t like. ‘Your mind is as big as space,’ a meditation teacher once told me. Your heart too has unlimited capacity for acceptance and forgiveness, and that includes of yourself and of your body.
Return into your body rather than pushing it away
When you are ready, gently come out of the meditation by focussing on your breathing, then your body on the chair/mat/bed, the sounds inside the room, the sounds outside the room. Allow yourself a few moments of peace before resuming normal activities.
The practical application of Loving Kindness:
Acknowledge any truths that have come up here, perhaps you know you are doing things that harm your body, or know there are things you need to do to care for your body, from booking a screening or an eye test to looking after your back.
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