Let the body settle. Close your eyes as attention turns to the sensation of breathing, in the palpitating chest center. Placing several fingertips there helps to attune awareness.

On an inhalation, picture or sense someone you care for, even a pet, just to get the juices of goodwill flowing. Breathe their image into the center of your chest, and on the outbreath silently say, "May loving-kindness awaken," extending your wish for their well-being. Now envision yourself, on successive inbreaths, with awareness still centered in the chest, and silently say the following lines on the exhalations:

1. May loving-kindness awaken.
2. May whatever clouds loving-kindness be attended and healed.
3. May this moment be experienced, just as it is.
4. May loving-kindness extend to all.

Repeat these four lines several times. . . . Finish by reflecting on all beings, repeating the lines, in dedication to this expanded sense of life.

Elizabeth Hamilton in Untrain Your Parrot and Other No Nonsense Instructions on the Path of Zen