This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


More on loving kindness

Miranda and Valerie


Last night, sitting with a group of sweet friends, my meditation touched on loving kindness. Since it is almost always a challenge for me to direct loving kindness towards my self, this time I started with the being for which I feel unconditional, uninterrupted love — our canine companion Miranda-the-labradoodle.

Tapping into this easy heart-opening love turned out to be a good entree into a meditation on loving kindness towards my self and then to ever-expanding circles of others.

In Kate Lila Wheeler’s talk via Susan Piver‘s Daily Dharma Gathering she suggested following loving kindness to one’s self with loving kindness towards anything that opens our heart, even a plant… or the planet.

My dear friend Jill reminded me of another encouraging message from this talk. Kate said that, even if I’m not feeling particularly loving and kind, at every moment there are  meditators out in the world sending loving kindness to all beings, including me. Perhaps I am receiving loving kindness on some level at all times. Perhaps there are practices that would help me to more consciously and gratefully receive it.

Thanks to a comment from my wonderful friend, Emilia… here’s more on the meditation practice of loving kindness.

Em suggests the chapter on loving kindness and compassion in Phillip Moffitt’s book, “From Emotional Chaos to Clarity: Move from the Chaos of the Reactive Mind to the Clarity of the Responsive Mind.”

Specifically, he describes (at pp. 127-128) certain phrases he developed for a loving kindness meditation, and suggests that you repeat them first for yourself, then for your loved ones and friends, then for teachers, strangers, and enemies, and finally for all sentient beings:

“May I be safe from internal and external harm.

May I have a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

May I be physically strong, healthy, and vital.

May I experience love, joy, wonder, and wisdom in this life, just as it is.”

Nice, yes?

Love & Light,


14 Comments to More on loving kindness

  1. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    March 3, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Lovely. Thank you dearest Valerie.

  2. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    March 3, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I’m so happy to hear this. Having a voice is such a gift.
    Celebrating that yours is back.
    A big smile,

  3. Anne C's Gravatar Anne C
    March 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Valerie, thank you so much for the warm, wise words you always send. these affirmations are simple and clear.
    i recently introduced two FA friends to your writing. Thank you

  4. Em's Gravatar Em
    March 4, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Valerie –

    Moffitt said he developed these phrases in collaboration with inmates in a prison meditation program; they represent benefits they could imagine in their circumstances, so we are free to make up our own. But I find these pretty powerful.

    I love the idea that people all over the world – even prisoners! – are sending these thoughts of loving-kindness my way.

    And by the way, have I mentioned lately how much I love your house?!

  5. Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
    March 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Valerie ~

    Thanks so much for posting this. It reminds me of all that I learned about unconditional love from my beloved Pearly Girl. Our four legged canine companions carry this medicine and are powerful teachers in helping us to connect with the love that is present in every moment.

    With love 🙂

  6. Ginny Styer's Gravatar Ginny Styer
    March 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Valerie! Beautiful photo of you and Miranda, beautiful words of wisdom you share with us, and we are grateful. We just returned from travels in India where amidst the trash and the treasures and the poverty, we witnessed a deeply spiritual people living their lives in dignity, ritual, love. Returning home, we do our morning meditation as do you – sending loving kindness to all beings. We love you! Ginny and John

  7. Jillian W's Gravatar Jillian W
    March 10, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    This was really helpful! You and Miranda are so beautiful! Today, may I be safe from internal and external harm.


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