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Metta Meditation

Updated: Mar 1

The word "metta" is a Pali term that can be translated as "loving-kindness," "friendliness," or "compassion." Metta meditation practice aims to promote feelings of goodwill and benevolence toward all sentient beings, fostering a sense of connection and empathy. The universe is filled with an infinite number of beings: just as you want happiness and wish to avoid suffering, you are just one person, while the number of other beings in infinite. The wellbeing of this infinite number is more important than that of one.

  • Find a Quiet Space: Sit comfortably

  • Focus on the breath: Start by taking a few deep breaths to calm your mind. Pay attention to your breath as it naturally comes and goes.

  • Recite Affirmations: Begin by repeating affirmations or phrases (mantras) to generate feelings of loving-kindness. These phrases typically follow a pattern, starting with yourself and extending to others. Some common phrases include: May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease.

  • Expand the Circle: After focusing on yourself, gradually extend your feelings of loving-kindness to others. You can start with someone close to you, like a friend or family member, and then gradually expand to more distant acquaintances, strangers, and even people you have conflicts with. You can adapt the phrases to address them, such as "May [person's name] be happy, have their needs fulfilled and their suffering eliminated."

  • Stay Mindful: While reciting these phrases, stay mindful of the emotions and sensations that arise. Try to generate a sincere feeling of love and compassion as you direct your intentions toward each person.

  • Practice Regularly: Metta meditation is most effective when practiced regularly, ideally daily. Over time, it can help you cultivate a more compassionate and loving attitude toward yourself and others.

You might want to think of a stressful event that you might be finding difficult and begin to internally recite wishes, prayers and intentions for all the different people involved and effected including yourself. For example, if you are thinking of war, you may want to finish your meditation with stating: “May all beings find refuge, safety, hope, and peace among the turmoil. May all beings be free of pain and suffering.” Cultivate “think global, act local': local seeds we plant around dialogue, reconciliation, kindness, perspective taking all matter in their own small ways.

We can still be caught up in regarding other sentient beings from a slightly dualistic perspective, as if their existence is relative to our own. But when we generate the motivation to lift not only ourselves but all sentient beings to complete recognition, the dualistic perspective of self and other begins very gradually to dissolve, and we grow in wisdom and power to help others as well as ourselves. We can aspire to cultivate an unrestricted readiness to help all living beings achieve a state of complete happiness and freedom from pain and suffering. Whether you are able to free them does not matter; just act towards your intention to help in the best way you know now. For example, you can start with trying your best to refrain from stealing, lying, gossiping, and speaking or acting in ways that intentionally cause pain; acting towards others; patching up quarrels; speaking gently and calmly; and rejoicing in the good things that happen to other people rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by jealousy or envy. Conduct of this sort it a means of extending the experience of meditation into every aspect of daily life.

Book a Massage or Yoga session with Metta now to calm, ground and detoxify you to prepare your body and mind for Metta meditation, and to start your practice of loving kindness; and cultivating physical, mental and emotional wellness, and happiness.

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