Audio

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Jassiel

Loving Kindness Meditation for Oppressive Experiences

Find a comfortable seated position. That could be on a chair. It could be on a cushion. Take a few deep breaths. Become aware of the sensation of sitting. Feel the heaviness of your body. Notice your breath. Today we will do the Lovingkindness Meditation for Oppressive Experiences.

Connect with the feeling of being devalued by another, not because of something you did or didn’t do, but because of some aspect of who you are. There may be many experiences, but try to focus on one. Recall how you reacted to this situation. Notice in your body right now any sensations even if you haven’t yet identified a specific situation. What does the word “oppression” feel like? What are your physical sensations, images, feelings, or thoughts in reaction to that word? Perhaps there is a feeling of resistance, of not wanting to go to such a place. Try just breathing into that feeling. Stay with noticing, seeing if other feelings or thoughts and physical sensations emerge.

Now recalling that oppressive experience, say to yourself:

  • “This is a moment of difficulty, of suffering, or discomfort.” Notice how your body responds to this acknowledgment.
  • “There are others who are like me who have had similar experiences.” “I am not alone in having this experience.”

Then place your hand over your heart, and feel the warmth of your hand comforting your heart. How does your body respond? Breathe in the following phrases:

  • “May I find some sense of safety at this moment.”
  • “May I feel strong at this moment.”
  • “May I feel worthiness even as I am devalued by others.”
  • “May I find some space to respond creatively when I feel constrained.”

What other comforting wishes do you have for yourself in this situation?

Now bring to mind another person you know who has had a similar type of oppressive experience and picture the two of you standing together. Again, feel the warmth of your hand over your heart and say,

  • “May we feel safe when we have such challenging experiences.”
  • “May we feel strong in the face of adversity.”
  • “May we feel worthiness even when others devalue us.”
  • “May we find some space to respond creatively when we feel constrained.”

What other comforting wishes do you want to send to this other person?

Notice how it feels to say these phrases to you and someone else  as compared to just yourself.

Now visualize you and that other person standing together. And surrounding you, are all the many individuals who have faced this type of discrimination. Feel the warmth of your hand over your heart and say,

  • “May we feel safe when we have such challenging experiences.”
  • “May we feel strong in the face of adversity.”
  • “May we feel worthiness even when others devalue us.”
  • “May we find some space to respond creatively when we feel constrained.”

Notice how it feels to say these phrases for this larger group as compared to just two of you.

Gently place your hand in a position of ease and bring your awareness back to your breath. Check in with how your body is feeling at this moment in time. What sensations have shifted? What sensations remain? Take a moment to gather yourself before you return to your daily activities. Take one final deep breath. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this meditation.


This Loving Kindness Meditation for Oppressive Experiences (minimally adapted from Longoria, 2014) is part of the Heart2Heart Intervention to Address Discrimination-Based Stress. The audio recording is available for download and was read by Shari Linares.

Domenech Rodríguez, M. M., & Linares, S. (2020). Heart2Heart: Intervention to address discrimination-based stress. Utah State University. https://osf.io/7vjxp/

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