Gatherings of any kind during the Holiday season can be fraught with heightened emotions, unrealistic expectations, conflicting perspectives & misunderstandings.  This meditation is a practice in acknowledging discord and difficulty while honoring our common humanity and the love that exists in the midst of it.  

You’re invited to send loving-kindness and kind wishes to yourself, your loved ones, and even to the friends and family with whom you disagree.  The encouragement is not to hope that other people change, but instead, to notice how you feel when you practice loving-kindness.  What changes within you, if anything? 

Admittedly, this can be an intense practice even for long time meditators, so be gentle with yourself.  And remember, anything you notice, feel, and observe is okay.  This will be a formal practice you can use before or after gatherings, or both.  And it’s also something you can practice right in the moment, as you’re listening to a difficult person, you can practice loving kindness and see if it changes your experience.