Compassion Meditation for the Holidays

As the days grow dimmer and colder, I see nature coiling back unto herself.

I can see her removing her makeup as the leaves fall, casting down her clothes as the ground becomes a sea of mud rather than the lush green of summer. I look at the trees as they shun the outside world and retreat deep into themselves, deep into the roots, knowing here is where they will gather the spark to awaken again.

And so, it is no surprise that we mirror this movement as well. It is this holiday season where all of us gather -or remember gatherings- with our own kin. After all, our families are the seed of us all… and in this season we make our ways back to them, either through travel or through memory.

In this time, I wish your heart to be open to love, I wish you a merry welcome and a time of celebration, and I know that for most of us, this time is a thorny one.

I trust your heart to recognize the moments of love that spring towards you, I trust you to receive them, to cherish them… and for those other times… the times when you might encounter tension or arguments, where your voice might be overlooked, or where you might recognize that you are dealing with someone’s shadow or wounds…. for this times, I offer you a compassion meditation.

I first came up with this meditation after reading a wonderful book called ‘The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships’ by Susan Piver. A read that I recommend whole-heartedly for all of us committed to a loving, conscious relationship.

I won’t spoil it for you, but I can say that cultivating compassion is key in creating the space where such relationships would flourish. This is true for our family relations, as well.

A compassionate practice allows us to remain aligned to love, to remain masterful of ourselves and in touch with our divine wisdom, no matter the circumstance.

Loving-Kindness Meditation for Family

Take a few deep breaths, allowing your breath to guide you to a place deep within yourself.

Picture yourself in your mind’s eye and take a moment to honor your heart’s desire for love, for experiencing happiness, and acknowledge yourself for all that you do in your life. Now, say in your mind:

May I be healthy, May I be happy, May I know love, May I be at peace, May I have ease. 

As you bathe yourself in light, you are bringing love and compassion to yourself. Now we will expand our compassion circle by thinking of someone in your family whom you love.

Call them to mind. Dwell on how they too are doing their best to find love and happiness, to live a full life. Send your love and compassion to this person.

May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you know love, May you be at peace, May you have ease.

As you bathe them in light, you are bringing compassion to them. Now we will expand our compassion circle by thinking of someone in your family to whom you are neutral towards.

It might be a relative that you are not particularly close to or someone you know only by name. Call them to mind. Dwell on how they too are doing their best to find love and happiness, to live a full life. Send your love and compassion to this person.

May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you know love, May you be at peace, May you have ease.

As you bathe them in light, you are bringing compassion to them. Now we will expand our compassion circle by thinking of someone in your family with whom the relationship is torn. It can be someone who has always been difficult or someone who made a harsh remark just now. Trust your heart to show you the right person to bring in.

Call them to mind. Dwell on how they too are doing their best to find love and happiness, to live a full life. Send your love and compassion to this person.

May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you know love, May you be at peace, May you have ease.

As you bathe them in light, you are bringing compassion to them. Now we will expand our compassion circle by calling to mind you entire family. Those who are on this earth and those who have passed away.

Call them to mind. Dwell on how they too value love and happiness. Send your love and compassion to them.

May all my family be healthy, May all my family be happy, May all my family know love, May all my family be at peace, May all my family have ease.

As you bathe them in light, you are bringing compassion to them. Now we will expand our compassion circle to include all living beings on this earth.

Call them to mind. Dwell on how they too value love and happiness. Send your love and compassion to them.

May all living beings be healthy, May all living beings be happy, May all living beings know love, May all living beings be at peace, May all living beings have ease.

Take one last deep breath and feel your heart as you come back into normal, waking consciousness. Well done.

I wish this meditation brings you peace, spaciousness and love throughout this holiday season. My best wishes are with you.

Happy Holidays.

Andrea