A form of meditation that involves directing one’s emotions toward warm and tender feelings in an open-hearted way. In the practice of LKM, individuals are first asked to focus on their heart region and contemplate a person for whom they already feel warm and tender feelings (e.g. their child, a close loved one). They are then asked to extend these warm feelings first to themselves and then to an ever-widening circle of others. LKM differs from mindfulness meditation, which instead involves training one’s attention toward the present moment in an open minded, non-judgmental way.
Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045-1062. doi: 10.1037/a0013262