Loving Kindness is a compassion practice which involves both feelings and wishes. It mobilizes the prefrontal language and intention networks as well as limbic emotion and reward networks.

Chenango State Park Area- New York State: 2022-October One of my thinking places where I try to expand my thinking on Ten Thousand Things about the factors and forces, DNA and Development of difficult persons. It helps in my Loving Kindness Practices

Scenario – Ben (a composite) talked about his lack of assertiveness in the face of an angry aggressive landlord.

Ben- I should have been able to stand up to this bully. He showed disrespect to my wife.

Counselor (PB)- How did that make you feel towards yourself, your wife, the landlord

B- It is a recurring theme, when I have not been able to assert myself.

PB- Can we do a ABC worksheet and see how the situation leads to some beliefs, and what are the emotional consequences of holding on to these beliefs.

We then did a ABC sheet, saw the automatic thoughts which arise, gave rating to the feelings related to these thoughts, examined evidence for and against and re-rating the feelings. This way of thought stop, cognitive reframing, seeing the cognitive distortions such as jumping to conclusions, fortune telling, mind reading, all or none thinking, emotional reasoning is a powerful way to gain perspective. (see worksheets below for download)

Keeping the heart open-Being aware of Us versus them

Another way to approach the above scenario calls for equanimity to keep the heart open, especially in the face of pain or provocation. Kindness for everyone “Omitting none” is an exercise in which all beings are held as “us” in your heart. 

         Five types of persons you can offer kindness is to : Benefactors, friends, neutral people, difficult people and yourself.

In above scenario the Ten thousand things exercise is a way to decrease the ill-will

B-I was not able to assert myself. He was rude, aggressive and inconsiderate to my wife.

PB- Can we go back and scan yourself for ill-will. Where in your body do you feel that? How was your tone? What did you do as follow-up?

B- I wrote a long letter to him to tell him how he was off the line, and it was not good.
Pb- Let us step back and try to reflect on the ten thousand things that have led this person to act in this way. Consider his biologically based factors: like pain, age, temperament, or intelligence.
B- Well that makes me see his day, how he must have felt when he got the news of the flooding of his apartment. He himself is an immigrant like me.
Pb- Consider the realities of his life: responsibilities and stresses

Commentary: The ten thousand things help consider persons in light of whatever you know or can reasonably guess about them, the factors and forces that have shaped their lives. It can be a powerful way to neutralize ill-will and bring a difficult person into being held as “us” in one’s heart and then offer loving kindness.


Burns, D. D. (1989). The feeling good handbook: Using the new mood therapy in everyday life. William Morrow & Co.

 Hanson, R. (2009). Buddha’s brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom. New Harbinger Publications.

ABC Worksheet

Worksheet_ Loving Kindness

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