The goal of this exercise is to tap into the loving energy you already have towards people you feel close to and transfer that love to strangers or even people you may dislike (initially).
There are three simple steps involved:
1. Close your eyes and think of a close friend or loved one and all of the qualities you like or love about them. This can be a journal writing exercise as well. In your journal, list the good qualities you admire in this person. Imagine each of these qualities stemming from one pure loving source (much like tributaries of a river stemming from one mountain lake).
2. Do the same exercise but with a less close friend. Then, dwell on how you feel about each friend. Although you know one person better than the other, contemplate the idea that the feelings are the same at a spiritual level. Each friendship is special.
3. Now do this exercise with people you do not know well or may even dislike. These people, too, are fed by the same spirit of that mountain lake. Consider positive qualities in them. Feel your heart softening and feeling more warmth towards them.
Breathe. Smile. You are love.
Source: I was inspired by Discover Inner Peace by Mike George, P. 135