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Loving Kindness Meditation

By: Jillian Balser, LMSW, MPH, Therapist at The Renfrew Center of Nashville

Posted on June 22, 2020

A lot of folks are feeling disconnected during this time of social distancing – and understandably so! As incredibly social and community-driven beings, this time of quarantine, while undoubtedly necessary and important, can feel scary, unpredictable and unnatural. Even so, times like these, while trying and challenging, can also shed light on opportunities to enhance our shared humanity and connectivity. In the midst of physical separation, I have found it helpful to tune in with the common threads that binds us together. One of my favorite ways to do this is through my mindfulness practice.

One meditation exercise that I have found to be particularly useful during the pandemic is Loving Kindness Meditation. This practice starts internally, by sending safety, health, happiness and ease to oneself; then moves into sending these same elements of loving kindness to external entities: loved ones, strangers, individuals with whom we may feel conflict, and finally, one's community.

Here's how you do it. Start by anchoring in, perhaps bringing your hands to your heart, and reciting the following:

"May I be safe
May I be healthy
May I be happy
May I find ease."

Next, utilize the same script, but bring to mind the external entities when reciting the words: 1. A loved one; 2. A stranger; 3. An individual with whom you may feel conflict; 4. One's entire community. For these individuals and groups, recite:

"May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you find ease."

Feel free to add individuals and/or groups…you have the freedom to make this practice your own!
Take good care and be well.

Jillian completed her undergraduate education at DePauw University. A Nashville native, she returned to her hometown to earn her Master of Public Health degree from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Science in Social Work degree through the University of Tennessee. As a Registered Yoga Teacher, Jillian has experience leading trauma-informed yoga in various behavioral health settings and enjoys incorporating mindfulness and movement-based therapies into her work with clients. She joined the Renfrew Center in June of 2019 to more directly pursue her passion for the treatment of eating disorders. She has a special interest in the intersection between athletics and eating disorders, and enjoys working with student athletes as they pursue recovery.
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