Loving Kindness

I See You


This idea for this meditation was sparked by a preview I saw for SBS documentary Look Me in the Eye.

I haven’t yet watched the series, but it reminded me of an experience I had one afternoon at the supermarket waiting in line for my groceries. Instead of burying my head in my phone to fill in the time, I decided to look up and around and actually pay attention to what all the other shoppers were doing – actually look at their faces.

I spent the next few minutes doing a short loving kindness practice: May you be well, may you be happy. Looking at the faces of those around me, sending warmth and friendliness.

And as I projected these well wishes to the woman rummaging through her handbag at next checkout over, she looked up at me and gave me a lovely big grin.

Whaaat!? Did she just hear my thoughts?

Whether or not it was pure coincidence, the experience had a profound effect in knowing this practice does actually make a difference. Even if it was just on me.

It’s one we can all have a go at some time. xx

This meditation is a take on the traditional ‘loving kindness’ or ‘metta’ practice.

In loving kindness meditation, we direct well wishes towards others with a phrase such as: May you be well, may you be happy.

We start off with those we love; those towards which we find it easy to project warmth and friendliness.

Then we move on to a neutral person – someone who we know of but don’t really have a relationship with.

Next we send well wishes to a difficult person – someone we may not like very much or someone we’re having trouble with.

Sometimes we also include those we don’t know at all. Fellow humans near and afar and even animals and other life forms on this planet we all share together.

And lastly but not least, remembering to include ourselves.

The practice seeks to tap into our empathy for others – to cultivate compassion -and what we often receive in return is a lovely and unexpected dose of wellbeing.

But sometimes it can be difficult to connect with those with whom we’re sending kind thoughts.

It can feel awkward sending “love” to the neutral person or those we don’t know.

Completely false to send well wishes to the person we’re angry with.

And certainly uncomfortable to send it to ourselves.

But what if we could really see that person, really look into their eyes? Would it help break down that barrier?


In this meditation we are going to combine the traditional loving kindness practice with a visualisation and the phrase “I see you.”

Imagining we are looking into the eyes of the other person. Really seeing them, not looking through them.

Let’s begin with a friend or loved one, or even a pet. Bring to mind their face, look into their eyes. Give them a warm smile.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Thinking about all the wonderful qualities that you love about this person. Things you have in common, times you’ve shared.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Now think about a neutral person. It could be the cashier at the local shop, a passenger on the train. Imagine looking into their eyes. Really studying their facial features. Taking them all in.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Looking up from our phones and into the face of a fellow human being.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Let’s now gently bring to mind a challenging person. A difficult work colleague. A troublesome family member. A friend you’re losing touch with. Or even, a politician whose actions have angered you.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Remembering that this person an imperfect human just like you. Try to imagine standing face to face with this person. Looking into their eyes and making a human connection. As insincere as the phrase may feel but sending it anyway.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Now try and think about all other life on this planet, as weird as that may feel at first. People you don’t know, from other cities; other countries. Beings of other species – animals and even insects.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

All sentient life forms on Earth who seek to be happy; who just like us, wish to be free from suffering. Imagine what it would be like if you could look into their faces.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

And finally, ourselves. For some, the hardest person to give love to. You could imagine looking in the mirror, or facing your inner child.

“I see you. May you be well. May you be happy.”

Looking back at yourself. Seeing that you deserve kindness and compassion.

“May I be well, may I be happy.”

May we all recognise each other as fellow beings with needs and desires, fellow beings with struggles and challenges. Each trying to learn from our mistakes, each experiencing life in all its wonder.

May we see each other.

May we all be well.

May we all be happy.

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