In loving-kindness meditation, you start by sending loving wishes to yourself, then to loved ones, friends, supporters, etc., until you send loving wishes to your enemies and all beings. In Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place, Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein cites these mantras as examples for loving-kindness meditation: “May you be happy; may you be free of mental and physical suffering; may you live with ease.”

Goldstein reflects on the difficulty of wishing happiness for those who have harmed us. Rather than focusing on those whom we might want to exclude from wishes of happiness, he encourages us to consider what our wish is for the world. Then our wish for the world can include those upon whom we might have initially wished suffering. Goldstein offers his mantra for this sort of loving-kindness meditation: “May you be free of hatred; may you be free of enmity.”

Take some time to reflect. From the place of deep heartfulness and inner wisdom, ask yourself what is your wish for our country? For our world? What phrase can you use as a loving-kindness mantra to orient yourself toward this wish? Once you’ve created your own mantra, write it down. Put it in your wallet, on your refrigerator, on your computer, or wherever you’ll see it to remind yourself of what you’d like for our country and our world.

Habib Todd Boerger, Joseph Goldstein in Practicing Democracy through Advocacy & Outreach by Habib Todd Boerger