Day 0: About the 100 Days of Lovingkindness

Dear <<First Name>>

Our 100 Days of Lovingkindness starts tomorrow, January 31. Here are a few things that might be helpful for you.

What's lovingkindness?
Lovingkindness meditation is a practice in which we contact and strengthen our innate desire for beings, including ourselves, to be happy. Lovingkindness is simple kindness, although in meditation it may have a strong loving quality to it. 

What practices are we doing?
We'll explore four traditional, related practices called "the immeasurables" or "divine abodes" (Brahma-viharas) for 25 days each. These are:
  • Lovingkindness (metta): a basic attitude of wanting beings (ourselves included) to be happy.
  • Compassion (karuna): the desire that beings be free of suffering, so that they can be happy.
  • Joyful appreciation (mudita): the desire that beings develop the skillful qualities that lead to the experience of joy and peace.
  • Loving with wisdom (upekkha): the desire that beings develop the qualities of insight that lead to permanent peace and joy.
Some of these descriptions may sound rather different from what you're used to, but we'll cross those conceptual bridges when we come to them.

Are we expected to do lovingkindness practice every day?
It may be unrealistic to attempt to do lovingkindness meditation every day, which might make it the sole practice that you do. Some people find that this works for them, but many find that they need to balance their practice with other meditations, like mindfulness of breathing. If you're in the latter category then I'd suggest at least doing lovingkindness practice every other day. 

Is this a meditation challenge?
No. Certainly, I'd encourage you to meditate daily, and to use my mantra ("I meditate every day; it's just what I do; it's part of who I am") but these 100 days are simply an opportunity to take your practice deeper. Meditating daily will help with that, but even if you don't meditate daily you'll still benefit. And remember, it's better to meditate for 5 minutes each day than to have over-ambitious goals that you can't meet.

I'm looking forward to working with you over the next 100 days. You'll get more out of this if you join the 100 Days online community, where you can share your practice and receive support and encouragement from others. 

With metta (lovingkindness),

Resources: We have several lovingkindness meditations available on our Youtube channel, although those are mostly longer. There are also several in the lovingkindness section of our website. These are all free. And lastly, we have some guided meditations available in our online store.
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