We begin by extending lovingkindness to ourselves using traditional phrases or mantras. It may seem odd at first, but if we are unable to love and be gentle with ourselves, we will be unable to extend lovingkindness to others. It’s ok if you don’t particularly feel the phrases at the moment, just set your intention and gather your attention behind each phrase. Say them first for yourself.
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
Then you repeat those phrases for a loved one, whoever comes to mind:
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
Then repeat those phrases for someone you feel neutral toward, perhaps someone you remember from your day that you encountered.
Next repeat those phrases for someone you feel resistance toward or struggle with.
Lastly, open your heart wider to extend lovingkindness to all beings everywhere.
May all beings everywhere be safe.
May all beings everywhere be happy.
May all beings everywhere be healthy.
May all beings everywhere live with ease.