People often find some difficulty in caring for themselves, in receiving love, in believing they deserve to be happy. Developing care towards ourselves with the power of concentration is the first objective, the foundation for later being able to include others and finally all of life in the sphere of kindness. Try these ways:
1. Spend some time consciously reflecting on the good you’ve done, or a good quality you have.
2. Remember a time you made a mistake. What qualities help you learn to act differently? What qualities stifle the creative urge to change?
3. If you see anger, fear, or similar states arising in your mind, and you find yourself reacting to them as “bad” or “wrong,” purposefully translate that response to “painful” or “suffering.” See what changes.
4. Reflect on what the middle way might look like for you in a particular endeavor, relationship, or challenge.
5. Devote some time each day to self-care. Can you spend 15 or 20 minutes doing something to be kind to yourself?
6. Develop and practice lovingkindness meditation for yourself.
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005). Copyright (c) 2205 by Sharon Salzberg. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005).