Lovingkindness meditation, known as “metta” meditation – and “metta” is a Pali word for “friend” — is a classic Buddhist practice of goodwill. This practice is said to bring many benefits of peacefulness and protection. This is a deceptively simple practice in which you begin the focus on yourself and later direct your attention to others.
Here is what you do:
Say the four phrases (see below) to yourself and notice how you respond to each phrase. Practice getting comfortable with the words. Attend to yourself with an open, loving mind.
1. Sit comfortably. You may close your eyes or simply have them go soft.
2. Be present to yourself as you inhale and exhale easy, full breaths.
3. Slowly think and say to yourself the four phrases of lovingkindness.
4. With attention and focus, slowly recite these phrases to yourself.
May I feel safe.
May I feel happy.
May I feel strong.
May I live with ease.
- You can do this practice sitting or, even, mindfully walking.
- Ideally, practice for 10 minutes, twice a day.
- When you feel ready, you can increase your practice to 20, and later 30, minutes a session, twice a day.
- As you become more comfortable and fluent with this practice, you can amend the meditation in two ways: Say this meditation for loved ones or, conversely, say this meditation for someone who is challenging your life. For example:
May Jane feel safe.
May Jane feel happy.
May Jane feel strong.
May Jane live with ease.
With practice, you will notice changes in your reactions and responses to life.
And here is another form, a personal favorite, of lovingkindness meditation:
May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I realize the beauty of my own true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing for this world.
May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you realize the beauty of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for this world.
Much love to all.