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Loving Kindness – Nerdful Mind #25

July 5, 2020 by Simon Mannes

Do you feel better when you feel close to others? I'd bet yes. We're all human.

Loving-kindness meditation (Metta Meditation) helps you cultivate this feeling. It focuses on developing benevolence and loving kindness towards all beings, free from any expectations or bindings.

Experiments of the Stanford University have shown that even short practices of loving-kindness meditation lead on average to a feeling of greater social connection with and a more positive attitude towards strangers.

Metta meditation starts with you directing loving kindness towards yourself. You can use words like “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be peaceful and at ease.” Repeat these words for a few minutes.

You then go on to picture a friend or family member and replace “I” with “you”. As a third step you visualize more people in your life and include them in your practice. You conclude your meditation with directing these wishes towards all beings.

“I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Reading Recommendations

A Guide to Cultivating Compassion in Your Life, With 7 Practices : zen habits

7 interesting compassion practices. Read through the guide and try some of them.

1. Morning ritual. Greet each morning with a ritual. Try this one, suggest by the Dalai Lama: “Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

Why it hurts to see others suffer: pain and empathy linked in the brain

Pain and empathy have been linked in a new study, raising the question of whether painkillers and brain damage could actually reduce empathy.

The Anti Anti Agile Manifesto | Dr Dobb's

How do you reply to someone that doesn't know what Agile is all about? I think both the Anti Agile Manifesto and the Anti Anti Agile Manifesto try to tackle the same issue. Most “agile” software projects implement some agile methods, but most just execute the techniques rather than understand the meaning behind them (which would make them 100x more effective).

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Try out a three-step self-compassion break. Think of a situation in your life that is causing you stress or pain. How does thinking of this situation make you feel? Then say to yourself:

  1. “This is a moment of suffering” – Or “This hurts.”
  2. “Suffering is part of life. I'm not alone.” – Put your hands over your heart, feel your breath and the warmth of your hands.
  3. “May I be kind to myself” – Which kind words can you say to yourself right now? Say what you need to hear, e.g. “may I be kind to myself” or “may I be patient”.

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