Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Director of the Social Psychology Doctoral Program and the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory, President-Elect, International Positive Psychology Association Kenan-Flagler School of Business
So with any meditation it's important to just be, feel comfortable and grounded.
So you know,
feet not flat on the floor cause we know our feet don't go down that far.
[LAUGH] But feet comfortable.
Kind of an upright posture.
I don't know.
I always think that you know, bringing the sternum forward and up is kind of a way to
create some openness that is supportive of, of positive emotions.
So in this short meditation.
I'll repeat some phrases so you hear my voice.
And it'll be followed by some periods of silence where I wont be speaking.
And so in those periods of silence just, I'll introduce the phrases.
Just repeat those phrases silently in your, in your own mind.
And you know, and
if you get distracted just bring your attention back to the the set of phrases.
And I'll begin and end the meditation.
By we'll bring our attention to the, the full length of the chime.
Just as a way to get us grounded.
So ,avert, lower
your gaze, or
close your eyes, whatever
might be comfortable.
And just bring your awareness to your breathing.
And just picture, if you will your heart region, while your breathing.
As if you're breathing to and from your heart.
And simply rest in this awareness for a few breaths.
Now, in this quiet space just visualize all the people learning
about positive psychology, here in this room, or
elsewhere, learning about it, it through other means.
Or listening in on the other side of the screen.
And think of the the authentic curiosity and the goodwill that draws
people in to learn more about positive psychology.
And then think of all the lives that each of these people touch in
through their actions.
Or if it's easier, just think about the people in your midst right now, nearby.
Just lightly extend these well wishes,
thinking of this group of people, yourself included.
May we all feel safe.
May we all feel happy.
May we all feel healthy.
May we all live with ease.
You can say the phrases in ways that really speak to you the most.
Draw them out.
Or try to visualize them as,
wishes leaving you and meeting another.
May we all feel safe and protected.
May we all feel happy and peaceful.
May we all feel healthy and strong.
May we all live with ease.
Now as we end this short meditation, just keep in mind that these
are sentiments that you can cultivate any time you wish.
I'll invite you
to wiggle your toes.
Come back to the conversation.
Things that we think might be helpful to hear?
>> It should be required for everybody, everyday.
>> Well, you know the more I have seen about
the data that emerged from our studies about what difference it makes,
when people practice this on a regular basis.
I think so too [LAUGH] it's, it's it's pretty remarkable.
I'm just going to comment on that it's surprising how difficult it is to
kind of keep your mind focused on these things like, say, one word you'll hear.
And it'll like oop there goes my, my brain in this direction,
but I think just keep coming.
Like, as I just was sitting, and
still, and quiet, it's something that you don't do very often.
And even though it was difficult for
me, I think if I were to contin, this is the first time I've done it, but
if I were to continue to practice it, I think that you probably get better at it.
And maybe you call can speak to that.
But- >> Yeah.
>> It was still rewarding for me even though it was a challenge.
>> Right, right.
Well then, I would also say for me,
I was really feeling how much context can make a difference.
because say I'm used to my daily practice at home, or
maybe on a cushion on the floor.
And so just that it can be more difficult to really tap into that,
and go deep, depending on the context.
>> Right. Right.
because the you know, just like you develop habits
about other wellness behaviors like, oh I like to run in the woods, and
so when I'm running on a treadmill, that feels funny [LAUGH] you know?
So, there's ways in which the environment can be really supportive to help you
kind of sink in to it, yeah.
I, I kind of had that feeling of, like, oh right.
That's a little different.
And great examples about how, you know, your mind's just all over the place.
>> Yeah. >> That's what minds do.
[LAUGH] You know, so you know, there's no reason.
It's, it's actually an, sort of an active.
Loving kindness through the self to just accept that.
Just like oh, my mind wandered.
Bring it back.
You know that's having that sort of
attitude of kindness in the practice is really vital as well.
And that it does, like you were saying, maybe we could speak to this, but
yes, it does tend to get easier and
the mind does tend to get quieter, but it'll still come up.
>> Yeah. >> Anyway.
>> I think for, you know,
type A people, people very busy, there's so much going on that we're juggling.
It's great to give yourself permission to just rest and be still.
>> That's the power.
>> Right. >> Just to stop.
>> Yeah. And it's just one way to stop.
And it's one way, you know, I think, to get a different pace, and
also to get out of that sort of constant it's me, me, me.
[LAUGH] You know, because it's kind of just builds that other muscle, but
to be a little more other-focused.
So I think there's a, there's a real value in both of those pieces to it.
So, so did it scare you?
[LAUGH] >> No, it's good.
We do yoga, and we tried every time, I just, I,
not disciplined enough to, pause and do it.
I like to think I'm other-focused.
>> Yeah. >> But that whole getting quiet and
doing it at that time.
And I know it's great.
I read enough studies too.
It just, I'm not disciplined enough to do it well yet.
>> Well and I think, you know, one thing is true that formal meditation,
kind of happens when people are sitting and practicing.
But there's a lot of informal meditation that can be just as powerful you know,
like, just your, your daily habits of connecting with others.
So it's, it's not like there's one way to, to get into this kind of psychology.
You know, so, and this is kind of an ancient practice to try to,
you know, build that habit.
But there are lots of doorways in, so yeah.
>> I'll get there one day.
>> All right.
Now this was just the briefest introduction to loving kindness mediation.
There is, of course, so much more richness to it.
Your experiential assignment this week is to practice it again,
using the guided meditation that I've made available here.
When you're ready to go deeper into the practice of loving kindness,
check out the website that I created to accompany Love 2.0.
It offers a number of free guided meditations that you can try out as well.
You might also look into the books and talks by Sharon Salzberg.
She's widely regarded as the leading meditation teacher,
who brought the practice of love and kindness meditation from the East,
through her studies in India and Burma, to the West.
And she's written several very accessible books on it.
She consults with my research team as well on our scientific studies.