In many compassion meditations, the meditator focuses on growing and extending love and compassion for others. In Benefactor Practice, a contemplative application adapted from an ancient form of Tibetan devotional practice by John Makransky, we visualize receiving love and acceptance from a trusted other. Using memories from our real life, we relive “benefactor moments,” times when we have felt loved and accepted by a family member, friend, or loved one. Using these moments as inspiration, we subsequently, in a meditative state, visualize our bodies and minds receiving unconditional love and acceptance, radiating from the benefactor’s form. We allow every part of ourselves, including our difficult feelings and negative mind states, to be held in love and acceptance. Over time, by cultivating this basic contemplation, a meditator gradually rebuilds confidence and trust in the basic safety of relationships, and establishes the foundation for extending compassion to others. In this breakout session, participants will learn the steps of basic benefactor practice, and will experience it as a guided meditation.

Willa Blythe Baker, PhD

Natural Dharma Fellowship

Convening Faculty

Willa Blythe Baker, PhD, is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. She was authorized … MORE