The word "metta" is a Pali term that can be translated as "loving-kindness," "friendliness," or "benevolence." Metta meditation practice aims to promote feelings of goodwill and benevolence toward all sentient beings, fostering a sense of connection and empathy.
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."
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.