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Mother's Day Meditation: Cultivating Loving Kindness and Joy

articles May 14, 2023
Mindful Society Global Institute
Mother's Day Meditation: Cultivating Loving Kindness and Joy

Looking for a unique and heartfelt way to honor your mother or caregiver on Mother's Day? Try this guided meditation practice, which includes savoring a joyful moment and cultivating a loving and kind intention towards yourself, your mother, and all beings.

Mother's Day is a time for honoring and celebrating the women and caregivers who have nurtured us throughout our lives. It is a day for showing gratitude and appreciation for the care and support they have provided us, often selflessly and without question. So this year, why not try something different? Take a moment to connect with the positive emotions and sensations that come with those memories.

In this article, we'll walk you through a guided meditation practice to help you savor a joyful moment and cultivate loving-kindness towards yourself, your mother or caregiver, and all beings. You can listen to the guided audio practice in the audio player above or read through the steps below and take time in-between for silent reflection. This practice can be done anytime and is a beautiful way to connect with your heart and the world around you. 

Settle into a comfortable posture.

Please settle into a comfortable seated position. If it's comfortable, you can close your eyes or lower your gaze. Take a few full in-breaths and out-breaths, adjust your posture, and find your seat. Release any tension and find a comfortable, alert, and relaxed posture. Let your breath fall into rhythm and pause for a moment before we begin reflection.

Savor a joyful moment.

Bring to mind a joyful moment you've experienced in the past. It could be a smile, an act of kindness, or a warm touch with someone who cared for you, like your mother or another caregiver. Notice any thoughts, images, or narratives that come to mind around this experience. When did it happen, and what was said or done? Bring your attention to the emotion or emotions associated with this experience. It could be happiness, ease, joy, or even excitement. Name the emotions and check in on any body sensations that may be present or were present at that time. Perhaps you feel held, nourished, or supported, or you notice a warmth in your chest or ease in your shoulders. Amplify this experience by lengthening it, replaying the thoughts or imagery or amplifying the emotions or body sensations. You can use your breath to intensify this experience by breathing in as if adding oxygen to a flame. Strengthen this experience with a few more in-breaths and out-breaths, savoring this joyful moment with the individual who shared it with you.

Cultivate a loving-kindness intention.

Take a full in-breath and out-breath, and allow yourself to fully arrive and transition to the second part of this practice. We'll begin by bringing ourselves as the focal point. If this is challenging, you can always return to your breath or open your eyes and let go of the practice for a while before returning whenever that is accessible for you. As you become aware of yourself sitting here, send heartfelt wishes such as "May I be happy. May I be safe and free of suffering. May I be healthy. May I find joy and live in peace.” Picture yourself happy, safe, healthy, joyful, and peaceful. When we reflect on these intentions, we may evoke certain emotions that align with them, strengthening our muscle memory to access these states of well-being, flourishing, happiness, joy, and ease.

Extend loving-kindness to a caregiver or mother.

Take another full in-breath and a full out-breath. Now, call to mind a caregiver or mother, perhaps another caregiver or a benefactor who has played a nurturing role in your life. Extend them heartfelt intentions and loving wishes such as "May you be happy. May you be safe and free of suffering. May you be healthy. May you find joy and peace.” Take a few moments to picture them happy, safe, healthy, joyful, and peaceful, wherever they may be.

Send loving-kindness to all beings.

Transition to the last part of this practice, where we will expand this loving and kind state and intention outward to all beings. Picture a particular part of the world, the entire planet, or a particular being to whom you'd like to extend these intentions. Those in the sea or those on land allow your attention to move and pollinate. Send them these heartfelt intentions: May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe and free of suffering. May all beings be healthy. May all beings find joy and live in peace.

This savoring joy and loving-kindness practice can be returned to any time. When we begin this practice, many different moments may come to mind, or none at all, and that is fine too. It is a practice that grows stronger over time. So try it out and see how it makes you feel. Happy Mother's Day!

 Michael Apollo MHSc RP is the founder of the Mindful Society Global Institute. Prior to founding MSGI in 2014, he was the Program Director of Mindfulness at the University of Toronto. He is an educator, licensed mental health clinician and certified facilitator in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.



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