WEEK 39-Forgiveness with Loving-Kindness Meditation

Equipment Required
n/a

PERMAH Pillar
Relationships and Engagement

Teachers to read and facilitate the following:

 

Rationale

Forgiveness can be defined as a shift in thinking. It means we don’t wish harm to the person who hurt us, instead we wish good things for them. There is not always reconciliation and it is not pardoning, condoning or excusing the behaviour (Lyubomirsky, 2007). When we forgive we don’t need to forget, but we do need to choose not to let the other person’s actions control our emotions. Forgiveness is an important part of good relationships. Forgiveness is hard and takes a great deal of courage. “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”, according to Gandhi. If we don’t forgive, we hold a grudge, which interferes with our ability to feel close to other people. Empirically validated studies document the positive effects of forgiveness including less anger, more optimism and better health (Seligman, 2002).


We can learn to be more empathetic and develop compassion by forgiving others. A good place to start might be with small things. To help us forgive, we can wish good things or no harm to the person. This will help us understand that we can choose to work on our feelings towards others (Eades, 2008). One way to build our forgiveness and compassion “muscles” is the Loving-Kindness meditation. This focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards others (Salzberg,1997). Loving-kindness meditation has been found to increase love, joy, contentment, gratitude, pride, hope, interest, amusement, awe (Fredrickson et al, 2008) and positive emotions (Kok et al, 2013).


Description of Positive Education Practice: Loving-Kindness Meditation


In the loving-kindness meditation, we are going to offer ourselves and those around us love and kindness.  We are going to repeat, after the meditation leader, four mantras silently to ourselves.


  1. Find a place to sit either in a chair or on the floor.

  2. We will use the 5 S’s for our meditation practice. Sitting straight, Still, Silently, Soft breathing and Shut eyes.

  3. Take some slow, deep breaths through your nose, into your belly. Feel your body start to soften as you trigger your relaxation response.

  4. Bring your attention to your nose. As you inhale, feel the cool air going in and as you exhale, feel the warm air going out.

  5. See yourself in a kind, gentle way. Imagine you are talking to yourself. By opening your heart to yourself you will begin to see the positive energy you create within and around yourself. When your heart is full and you are peaceful, you will be able to send those same feelings into the world. Repeat each line after me (silently, in your own mind):

May I be well,

May I be happy,

May I be peaceful, (if it is helpful- think of how much joy and happiness you could cause yourself and others, with a peaceful mind),

May I let go of anger and sadness.

  1. Now think of a good friend. Imagine their face and repeat each line after me:

May they be well,

May they be happy,

May they be peaceful,

May they let go of anger and sadness.

  1. Now think about someone in school or a sibling that has perhaps made you feel bad and repeat each line (in your mind):

May they be well,

May they be happy,

May they be peaceful,

May they let go of anger and sadness.

  1. Now think of all living things and repeat each line:

May they be well,

May they be happy,

May they be peaceful,

May they let go of anger and sadness.

  1. Finally bring your love and kindness back to yourself and repeat each line after me:

May I be well,

May I be happy,

May I be peaceful,

May I let go of anger and sadness.

  1. Bring your awareness back to your breathing. Take 3 slow breaths, then open your eyes.



Main message:

 

Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us.” — Jack Kornfield



 

UPP’s Positive Education Practices

A Positive Education Practice (PEP) is an evidenced-based positive psychology intervention, applied in school communities or other educational settings. At UPP, we have tried to make these PEP’s simple, concise and relevant for students and their teachers. The six pillars for the Positive Education Practices are: Positive emotion (P); Engagement (E); Relationships (R); Meaning (M); Accomplishment (A); and, Health (H).


We hope that these evidence-based tools of positive psychology will enhance help people to thrive and live their best life, both within and beyond the school gates.  

For more activities like this (and much more), check out THRIVE Online Lesson Modules for Pastoral Care and Wellbeing.

Unleashing Personal Potential

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 11.10.01 AM (1).png