A loving-kindness meditation and a loving-caring child

This short video shows two approaches caring for people you love when they are suffering. A loving-kindness meditation and a six-year-old’s mission to protect her grandmother.

It’s difficult when you want to express your care for a friend who is going through a painful experience. It might not be appropriate or even possible to do anything that will help. One practice helps to calm my anxiety and sense of inadequacy, and gives me the illusion of “doing” something. It’s a short, gentle version of the well-known loving-kindness meditation. In this particular case, my friend appreciates the good thoughts and feelings (and prayers) from her network at a certain time of day.

This is a private part of my life, but I thought it might be helpful if you find yourself in a similar situation. This short video ends with a poem by Elsie, my granddaughter. When she was six years old, she expressed those very same feelings, wanting to protect me, her grandmother, from sorrow. That’s loving-kindness incarnate. I find that poem, Alternative Therapy, very moving as well as funny.

A short video: two takes on about caring for people you love when they are suffering.

Even a small child may feel loving kindness to others

From an early age, we want to protect others from sadness and pain. It’s those caring feelings that matter, regardless of the practical ways we express them.

A little girl and an old woman swinging together on a double swing
Elsie looking after her granny

PS After cataract surgery my eyes are finally, finally feeling better. If only Elsie had been here to put a cold mermaid on those sore eyes! They would have healed more quickly, for sure.

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12 thoughts on “A loving-kindness meditation and a loving-caring child

  1. Alan Ralph says:

    This post brought back memories of helping to care for my father after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Loving kindness brought him some comfort, and also helped me a bit in dealing with the thoughts and emotions I was experiencing. I now help out my mother with financial and technical stuff, as well as those home or garden situations requiring a tall person. 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m glad this rings a bell for you. It’s so good to know you can be useful in these practical ways, and the very phrase “loving kindness” does sum up what is required in the broader sense.

  2. judibwriting says:

    ‘Thoughts and prayers’ sound cliche and overused in the face of tragedy and crisis- but when given from your heart, resonant with your desire to send love from afar- I have no doubt it is effective if only to align yourself with love in that moment in a world that sorely needs it. Kindly done, thank you.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Judi, you do understand where I’m coming from. Thank you.

  3. Just speaking to a bereaved, or dying, person can be enough. We adult humans are not very good at dealing with situations that make us feel uneasy and thus those in need are often not treated as we would normally treat them. We avoid saying anything lest we upset them, when all they perhaps need is a friendly word, a normal everyday chat or, best of all, a hug. Children instinctively know this and are unafraid to do the right thing.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Such good guidance. Thanks Peter.

  4. Very beautiful and comforting.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m glad, Kate.

  5. aiyshah2014 says:

    Such a powerful meditation, thank you Rachel.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And now is a good time to give and receive it, don’t you think?

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I especially loved the embodiment of this meditation. It becomes a loving dance directed at a friend in need. God knows at our ages we have many times to direct such words to friends.

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