I suggest developing these positive qualities step by step. It will become easier to extend feelings of goodwill to all beings if you start first on individuals for whom you already feel affection, such as a beloved family member, an infant, a puppy, or a kitten. You can then extend it out to people whom you feel neutral towards. When you feel comfortable, you can try to extend these feelings of goodwill to people you've had problems with or people whom you've had difficulty feeling compassion for. You will eventually get to the point where you can generate strong feelings of goodwill for all beings.
Through the practice of such meditations you'll develop stronger and steadier feelings of goodwill towards all beings. This is a part of the four Brahmaviharas
, known as the "Divine Abidings," as taught in Buddhist meditation. They are:
(Loving-Kindness) - The basic wish for others to be well
(Compassion) - The wish for others not to suffer
(Sympathetic Joy) - Delight in others' happiness
(Equanimity) - Mental peace and grace, regardless of life's situations
Here are two links that explain these mental states and their development in more detail. There are very many more resources online as well.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... heart.html
- An essay explaning these states in more detail. This website is also a major resource for Buddhist scriptures, essays, and other related information.http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_b.htm
- A step-by-step explanation of how to develop these states through meditation. Likewise, this website (http://www.buddhanet.net
) is an excellent resource for buddhist materials and compilations as well.