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MeditationExpressing Loving-Kindness

Expressing Loving-Kindness

Feelings of compassion can help us connect with other Black experiences, whether they’re shared or different from our own.

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Compassion liberates. It doesn't discriminate or entangle us, but sets us free. Compassion is the ability to open our hearts and minds to the experiences of others and to see ourselves and our similarities in that experience is how we can learn to live more freely. When we open ourselves up, we aren't attaching ourselves to our pain or their pain. We're simply witnessing and becoming aware of our human experience and allowing things to be as they are. I often think about the many identities and roles I've played, intentionally and unintentionally. The many masks and personas I've constructed as a way to ironically connect with others. People-pleasing, overextending and back bending as a way to belong and maybe recognize this pattern or way of being in yourself too. In this practice of love and kindness, we give ourselves the permission to open our hearts, to feel and connect deeply with ourselves and all other Black beings everywhere. Compassion isn't meant to be forced but felt, so if you notice any feelings that begin to arise, pleasant, unpleasant or even neutral, trust that this is compassion awakening in our minds and bodies. If it becomes too much, take a moment to pause, take a break or a breath, drink some water or even continue at a later time. Essentially, this practice is a way for us to let our guards down, wear our armor down and connect to a greater sense of openness, acceptance and kindness to ourselves and all others. So settling in and sitting upright. Eyes can be open or closed. Softening the eyebrows. Unclenching the jaw. Relaxing the shoulders. Now inviting three deep breaths into the body. Breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. And on the next exhale, returning the breath back to its natural rhythm and just taking a moment to notice your mind and body. Gently noticing where you may be holding on to any tension or tightness and see if you can let go with each inhale and each exhale. Really allowing the mind and body to be fully present. And if at any time, the mind wanders during this practice, gently guide it back to the breath and back to the phrases. So we'll begin with ourselves. Bringing to mind ourselves now or even our younger selves. And if this is difficult to do, just gently placing a hand over your heart or holding your hands together. And then repeating after me. May I be free to live with ease. May I be safe and protected. And may I allow myself to be loved and cared for. And again, may I be free to live with ease. May I be safe and protected. And may I allow myself to be loved and cared for. Breathing that in and letting it go and just gently observing any thoughts, any emotions that may be present. And then bringing to mind a loved one, someone you care about deeply or...


Duration10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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