With so many different opinions, personalities and styles at Andover High, one can’t help but feel annoyed, jealous, or judged by their peers. Whether you are irritated that your teacher gave you a bad grade, bitter that your friend got a new car, or simply annoyed at the talkative boy in your class, Loving-Kindness Meditation is a great outlet to free yourself of negative thoughts.

Loving-Kindness Meditation is a practice focused on unconditional, inclusion love and any amount of meditation will truly help to open one’s mind to loving and accepting all beings. When practicing, take a comfortable posture and begin breathing from your chest area, anchoring your mindfulness on the sensations at your heart. Start to generate kind feelings toward yourself, and repeat phrases that will free your mind from animosity. Phrases may include “May I be happy. May I be free of mental suffering. May I live in this world happily and with ease” or they may be something completely different, feel free to use whatever phrase applies to you specifically.

Next repeat the phrases about a person who invites the feeling of unconditional love, replacing “I” with their name. Then do the same for a person you regard a dear friend, a neutral person, someone you have hostile feelings towards, and finally repeat the phrases for all beings.

After practicing this meditation ten minutes every day for a month, as part of my Senior Exhibition project, I feel more open and caring towards all beings. I do not automatically accept everyone or feel no bitterness, jealously or annoyance, however after practicing Loving-Kindness Meditation I second guess my hostile thoughts and adjust them to be more caring. I hope to continue practicing this meditation for one more month to hopefully open my mind and heart even more.

By Kate Hunt