Befriending and Loving Kindness
This week is based on Ch. 10 of William and Penman introduces a “befriending” meditation which provides an antidote to what has been called “painful engagement” – a state of self-judgement, self-doubt, negativity, and an attachment to living in the past. It also gives some insight into what the second half of an 8 week mindfulness program looks like.
There are two sides to this practice and both involve relationships. The first is cultivating your relationship with yourself. Befriending yourself. Here you begin to explore wanting yourself to be happy to find peace in a frantic world. To cultivate a compassionate outlook of your behavior, of your thoughts and of your emotions. This is a direct antidote to many negative states we may find ourselves falling into.
The second side is our relationships with others. There is much to explore in relationships with others but it can start by opening ourselves up to being compassionate to others. As a starting point accepting others want happiness and peace, and cultivating and exploring the idea that we want this for them. Befriending others is an exploration of our starting place with others. Cultivating befriending and compassionate attitudes can expand many of our possibilities for our relationships with others.
Working from our foundation in breath and body meditation, we will expand our skills and engage with the present moment with our heart as well as or bodies and minds. By encouraging positivity, self-compassion, and loving-kindness, we can gain an awareness and acceptance of the present moment and provide space to heal, face our difficulties, and work on our relationships with ourselves and others.
Practice for Week 4
• 3 minute breathing space meditation: twice a day track 8 at
• Habit releaser: Each week (and Chapter) of the program there will be suggested habit releaser. See Chap 10 by W&P for this week’s habit releaser, which involves doing a kind deed for someone or/and reclaiming your life by doing an activity you used to love but you decided you no longer had time for.
• Ten minute Befriending Meditation: once a day for 5 days out of 7
• On day 1 we recommend track 7 by Mark Williams, which can be downloaded here: http://rodaledigitalbooks.com/mindfulness/
• For the second day we suggest the following meditation (Tara Brach guided meditation): https://www.tarabrach.com/meditation-awakening-loving-presence/
• For each remaining day, you choose either the Williams meditations or Brach meditation.
Summary of options for after MoM18
The skills we have practiced in this month, reinforce each other, and are the foundation of further progress. Exploring the breath, the body, movement and befriending are essential in the next stage of integration of meditation in your daily life.
One option is through self-study. For example we completed Chapter’s 5, 6, 7 and 10 of W & P, corresponding to 4 weeks of an 8 week mindfulness program. You can complete the other 4 chapters, Chapters 8, 9, 11 and 12 for the remaining 4 weeks of the program at your own pace.
We are considering also later in the year running such a program at LMC, which we tried for the first time last year. We called in Deep MoM17. So let us know if you are interested 🙂 .
Remember to practice as often as possible, building towards a comfort with meditation that you can lean on through difficulty. The London Mindfulness Community is here to support you through your journey so please reach out to us anytime on our Tuesday or Sunday drop-in meditation or through email @ email@example.com