by K. McDonald, from “How to Meditate”, pp. 95-96 (edited and modified by J.W. Green 03/06/90)
Start by imagining that all significant others in your life are around you: your mother may be on your left, your father on your right, and other relatives and friends on either side. Now visualize in front of you those you dislike or whom you feel have hurt you in some way.
Extending in every direction, right to the horizon, are all other beings. Feel that they are there, all in human form, sitting quietly, like you. Stay relaxed – don’t feel crowded or tense, but imagine that a sense of harmony and peace is beginning to pervade everyone.
Consider how wonderful it would be, for yourself and others, if you were able to truly love all these beings. Consider that everyone wants to be happy and to avoid suffering, just as you do. They are all trying to make the best of their lives, even those who are angry and violent.
Now generate a feeling of love in your heart. You can do this by thinking of someone you love and letting your natural good feelings for this person arise. You might like to imagine your love as a warm, bright or golden light, not physical – but pure, positive energy glowing in and pouring forth from your heart. The important thing is to feel this love as it pours forth.
Before you can truly love others, you need to love yourself. Loving yourself means accepting yourself just as you are with your present faults and shortcomings, and recognizing that you have the potential to free yourself from all your problems. So, really want for yourself all the happiness and goodness there is. Bring the warm energy of Love into your heart for yourself and expand it until it completely fills your body and mind.
Now, let your love flow out to others. Start with your family and close friends sitting near you. Imagine the warm, luminous energy radiating from your body, touching them and filling their bodies and minds. Think, and feel sincerely, as follows for each of these people:
“May you be happy; may all your thoughts be positive and all your experiences good. may your lives be long and peaceful and may you quickly reach enlightenment.”
Then turn your attention to the people in front of you, those you have difficulty with. Contemplate that each of them also needs and deserves your love. Imagine your positive, loving energy flowing out from your heart to each of these persons. Want deeply for each of them to be free of the confusion, the anger, and self-centeredness that drive them to act the way they do. Really want them to find peace of mind, happiness, and finally enlightenment. Pour out your love to all of them.
Continue to send your positive, warm feelings out to all the other people around you. Love is an unlimited spring of good energy, so you shouldn’t worry that it will run out! Completely open your heart and imagine your love flowing to all the beings who are lonely, homeless, sick, hungry, confused, oppressed, frustrated, and frightened.
See their suffering disappear and their minds become peaceful, clear, and full of pure happiness. Want for each of them to have every good experience, from the satisfaction of their ordinary needs and desires all the way to enlightenment. Concentrate on this feeling of Love as long as possible.
Know now that you definitely have the potential to Love everyone – even those who annoy or hurt you, and those you don’t even know. Generate a strong desire and commitment to work on your own anger, impatience, selfishness, and the other problems that prevent you from having such love, and to seek hope in so doing, if you need it.
Now realize that as our minds open and overcome our prejudiced attitudes much space will be left in our hearts for selfless universal Love to develop and thus happiness for ourselves and others.
Finally, dedicate the positive energy of your mediation to all beings through Reiki and in all other ways that you know to help them to find happiness and enlightenment.