Whether we talk of love or peace, the best place to start is with our self: to truly love others, we must first fully love ourselves. We accept ourselves, beauty, flaws and all, before we can fully accept those we hold in relationship. Cultivate loving-kindness towards all beings. First focus our loving attention inwards, then we can genuinely radiate that love and happiness outwards.
The mantra to practice is:
May I be happy and free from suffering.
May my loved one be happy and free from suffering.
(Insert name of loved one, partner, mother, father, a sister or brother, grandparent, niece, or your own child.)
Journal your progress. The traditional method is to practice each step for 40 days to really feel a deep sense of love, kindness, friendliness, and acceptance.
Then, direct your attention to those you feel neutral towards, someone in your neighbourhood to whom you wave a friendly hello from time to time.
May those around me be happy and free from suffering.
Next, open meditation to include someone who has caused harm, hurt or abused your trust. Someone with whom we’re currently having issues; an incorrigible family member, an ex who broke your heart.
May my enemies be happy and free from suffering.
The last phase includes all sentient beings. With practice, you will be aware of your heart being open and happy, you feel compassion and loving kindness towards all alive on earth and beyond.
May all beings be happy and free from suffering.