Francesca Hampton leads a loving-kindness meditation suitable for both children and adults alike to help the mind become calm, loving, and clear.
(This meditation is part two of our interview with Francesca Hampton)
Awareness of the breath and body
[00:00:00] Francesca Hampton: Now it’s time to do our meditation to help our mind become calm, loving, and clear. We give ourselves permission not to be in a hurry for this time and not to worry about anything else, just to be calm and quiet inside.
Sit crosslegged on a floor cushion, or in a chair, or lie down on your back. The important thing is to keep your back straight and your body relaxed.
If you’re sitting it can help to imagine that you are a puppet and someone is holding you up straight with strings. Cross your legs and rest your hands in your lap with your right hand on top of the left hand facing up.
Let the tips of your thumbs touch each other. If you’re lying down, place your hand on your stomach, quietly.
You can close your eyes part way or all the way if that’s easier for this meditation. Drop your chin if you’re sitting up and look down at the floor in front of you.
If your eyes are open, don’t focus them. Just relax them.
Move your mind carefully through your body. We’re going to relax for a few minutes.
You can scan your body from your feet slowly up to your legs. Feel them relax completely. Your feet are relaxing. All the tension in your legs is letting go.
Feel the middle part of your body relaxing, settling your spine, straightening.
Feel your shoulders, all the tension in your shoulders relax. You can raise your shoulders for a minute and then let them settle back down.
Feel all the tension draining away.
Think of your face, is your face holding tension in it? Let your eyes relax your eyebrows, all the tension around your mouth. Just relax your face.
Your whole body is relaxed, almost feeling creamy and quiet inside.
Focus your mind for a few minutes on your breathing. Don’t do anything special with your breathing. Just let your body breathe itself. So just observe when the body is taking a breath.
Observe the breath going out. Observe when the body naturally turns around and starts to pull a breath in. Don’t do anything to change that. Just watch it.
Imagine that each time you breathe out, you’re becoming ever more relaxed.
As you breathe in, your mind becomes clear.
Visualizing love and safety
Now focus your mind on what you think you need, what’s missing in your life? Do you feel sad today? Do you feel scared? Do you feel sorry that you don’t have things that you need in your life?
Imagine that you are completely loved. Everything you need is coming to you. What would that be?
You are warm and safe. You are loved. You have everything you need coming. There’s nothing bothering you anymore. You have food and shelter and friends, maybe something fun like a car or a tv, you have everything that you need.
Imagine that you deserve everything that you have.
You are completely lovable and people love you.
Let your heart fill with a kind of golden happiness that fills your heart.
Sharing the loving-kindness to a loved one
Think of someone you love, maybe an animal, maybe a human being, who may be feeling sad or scared or may really need something they don’t have. What would make them happier?
Make the strong wish inside. May they have it and be happy. May they be free from feeling bad or hurt in any way. Really wish that for them.
Imagine again that your feeling of joy and loving-kindness is a warm light that fills you up, a golden light that fills every part of your being and comes from your heart.
Send that loving light out and let it fill up that person or animal. Give them everything that they need. Imagine them receiving this and feeling happy, feeling relief.
Sharing the loving-kindness to all beings
When you can gently go past the person you started with and extend your love and the loving light you are extending out from yourself, extend it to other people and animals that you know nearby.
Expand it to everybody in your house, everyone in the houses nearby you or the apartments.
Imagine the people and animals feeling relieved from all sadness and worry and not having enough of the things they need to be happy.
How far can you go?
Keep going bigger and bigger. Expand that light out to as many beings as you can. Maybe you can go through your whole neighborhood, all those people, all those animals, your whole city, all the people. Imagine that they are really starting to feel so joyful and peaceful.
If you can, you can wrap the whole earth in the loving light you are sending, the whole earth. All the wars are stopping. All the people who are in trouble are getting what they need. Nobody is angry. Nobody is scared.
Visualize that they’re really starting to feel joyful and peaceful. Rest your mind in your loving-kindness light and feel happy for the joy that you have wished for others. May they really receive it.
Dedicating your meditation
If you wish, at the end, you can make a dedication for all the good energy you have created. When we grow loving-kindness in ourselves like this, it can have many good effects in our future. Imagine what you want those effects to be.
Especially make the wish that your meditation will make you more and more able to be calm and peaceful, and to help other beings with your wisdom and kindness as you get older. That meditation will help you be your best self, more and more, all your life.
Thank you everybody.
If you enjoyed this episode, please consider making a donation to our podcast. A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment is a nonprofit organization supported entirely by donations that keep all our content free and ad free. To support us now, visit our website at skepticspath.org. We accept cash, credit, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies and your donations are tax-deductible in the U.S.
Audio mastering by Christian Parry
Marketing by Jason Waterman
Digital Production and Social Media by Isabela Acebal