Thoughts on lovingkindness

What just struck me this morning is that the lovingkindness meditation (as related by Jack Kornfield) follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Here we go. From the simple and personal to the universal:

  • May I be held in lovingkindness. (The Base of the Pyramid)
  • May I be well in body and mind. (Biological and physiological needs)
  • May I be safe from all inner and outer perils. (Safety needs)
  • May I be at ease and happy. (Everything else?)

To be sure, there are steps in the pyramid that are missing. Do they follow logically from the first steps in the lovingkindness meditation? It looks like it.

In my own personalized version of the lovingkindness meditation, I quietly recite:

  • May I be held by lovingkindness.
  • May I be filled by loving kindness.
  • May I be well in body and mind.
  • May I be safe from inside and outside dangers.
  • May I be at ease.
  • May I be free.
  • May I be happy.

There is now a growing body of research now that indicates that longer one meditates in this way (i.e. following a path of lovingkindness), they more the personality conforms to the lovingkindness ideal. There is even some indication that the grey matter in the brain begins to grow or reshape to conform to the new way of thinking.

What do you think?

About Gerry Wieder

Gerry is a former Registered Nurse, currently living in the Seattle area of the United States.
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