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Lovingkindness meditation has been shown to activate neurological circuits associated with empathy and benevolence while reducing negative biases — and the effect becomes stronger with practice.

#1To begin: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Focus on your breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling.

#2Visualize a friend, neighbor, family member, or any individual who supports you or seems to have your best interests in their heart. Imagine them feeling joyful for you and happy for your success. Breathe deeply as you keep this kind person in mind.

#3Now, identify someone who could use your well-wishes, and with the same warmth you channeled in step 3, send that love back out to the person in need, repeating the following phrase in your mind.

“May you be

May you
be well.

May you be
and safe.”

More on the Practice

+ Find a guided lovingkindness meditation from the Greater Good Science Center and tips on starting a daily meditation practice.

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