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Loving Kindness Meditation for Pregnancy and for Moms

January 21, 2013

Hypno_0004CUI clearly remember the moment I first encountered loving kindness meditation. Laying on the floor of a unfamiliar yoga studio in a new city back in 2000 – the instructor directed us to relax our bodies and then invited us to follow her in a meditation in which we directed kindness to another. As she led us through it, I felt my heart open and so many warm, soft and peaceful feelings of love followed through me. I was hooked.

Years later when I became pregnant with my daughter I adapted the wording and began practicing this form of meditation to connect with her. It worked beautifully. And so I began teaching it in my prenatal yoga classes and in my HypnoBirthing childbirth preparation courses.

This style of meditation comes from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The point of this meditation is to sweeten the sometimes sour (angry, resentful, anxious) quality of our mind. The most common form of this meditation involves repeating certain phrases three times to send loving intent to another. It’s really that simple – a tool for cultivating loving intent or kindness within ourselves and sharing it with others. One of the lovely things about this meditation is that it is open to everyone regardless of their personal beliefs about the nature and existence of God.  It’s that accessible.

The practice always begins with developing a loving acceptance of yourself. If resistance is experienced to this first step, it’s ok. It simply indicates some feelings of unworthiness are present. So there is work to be done, which is fine because the practice itself is designed to overcome any feelings of self-doubt or negativity.  You begin from the inside or inner world and then move out – to those outside yourself.  The idea is that when you are full, and overflowing, you have much to give to others.  Then you are ready to systematically develop loving-kindness towards others.

In the case of using the meditation in pregnancy, the next step to do direct the loving kindness towards your partner or to the baby’s father. This can be helpful even if you are not in a relationship with this person as it can ease any hurt feeling between you. Next it’s time to focus on baby. Let your heart be full as you send this loving energy to your baby. Finally finish my including your whole family adding in any other members as seems appropriate to you.

You might like to finish with a verse for anyone else you wish or even one for all people on the earth.

To Begin : Repeat each verse to silently to  yourself 3 times and mean the words as much as you can.

Loving Kindness Meditation

Towards yourself
May I be happy
May I be radiantly healthy
May I continue to grow and change
May I feel loved and supported

Then towards your partner (you may say their name in front of the phrase if you wish)
May you be happy
May you be radiantly healthy
May you continue to grow and change
May you feel my love

Then towards the baby, (you may say baby or little one in front of the phrase if you wish)
May you be happy
May you be radiantly healthy
May you continue to grow and change
May you feel my love

Then towards the family unit (including other members)
May we be happy together
May we all be and stay healthy
May we all continue to grow and change
May we share love together
Do this often for yourself and your baby.

And of course you can continue to use this long after the birth of your baby. I still do this for my family on a regular basis. Because let’s face it – even though you love’em – sometimes your family drives you NUTS – me too. Doing loving kindness for them in those times helps me “sweeten” my mind and allows to feel the love again.

I hope it is a gift in your life as well.

Marie

ps. If you find this a helpful tool in your life, please let me know by commenting below.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also enjoy these two blog posts.

holdinghands-webMindful Parenting

When I was training to be a prenatal yoga instructor, one of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books was on our reading list.  I enjoyed it very much.  It reminded me of the importance of being mindful.  Being mindful is at the heart of yoga practice.  It’s the habit of participating fully in the moment, whatever and how ever that moment is unfolding.  In it’s grandest form, mindfulness is a step on the path to enlightenment.  And if you aren’t reaching quite that high, mindfulness is at its very least a simple way to bring more peace and joy into life.  Keep Reading

music-relaxation-webMusic to relax to

I’m a big believer in the benefits of relaxation, before during pregnancy and for the rest of life too.  Lots of things in our modern lives can easily cause us stress and the more relaxation we can include in our daily lives the better we are in both body and soul.  I think that the important part of the study below was the commitment on the part of the women to set aside time each day to simply listen to soothing music.  It’s that commitment actually schedule relaxation into your life, as opposed to it being something that you do when everything else is done (sound familiar to anyone else?), that brings about changes to your daily life.  Keep Reading

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 22, 2015 11:51 pm

    thank you! This is exactly what j was looking for! I have done metta previously (I learned about it at Kripalu) but it has been quite a while. I decided today that while nursing my youngest in the middle of the night it would be the perfect time to practice loving kindness for me and my family. I was looking for an adaptation for a mother to use and this version works so well for me. Thank you a million times over!

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