Metta bhavana, or loving-kindness meditation, is a method of developing compassion. It comes from the Buddhist tradition, and taught by Buddha himself as one of the “Four Immeasurables” or Four Divine States of Buddhism. These are mental states or qualities cultivated by Buddhist practice. The other three are compassion,sympathetic joy, and equanimity. The practicecan be adapted and practiced by anyone; loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love.
Loving-kindness, or metta, as it called in the Pali language, is unconditional, inclusive love, a love with wisdom. It has no conditions; it does not depend on whether one “deserves” it or not; it is not restricted to friends and family; it extends out from personal categories to include all living beings. There are no expectations of anything in return. This is the ideal, pure love, which everyone has in potential.
This is a meditation of care, concern, tenderness, loving kindness, friendship–a feeling of warmth for oneself and others. The practice is the softening of the mind and heart, an opening to deeper and deeper levels of the feeling of kindness, of pure love. Loving kindness is without any desire to possess another. It is not a sentimental feeling of goodwill, not an obligation, but comes from a selfless place. It does not depend on relationships, on how the other person feels about us. The process is first one of softening, breaking down barriers that we feel inwardly toward ourselves, and then those that we feel toward others.
Some metta practices begin with loving ourselves, for unless we have a measure of this unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves; it is difficult to extend it to others. Then we include others who are special to us, and, ultimately, all living things. Gradually, both the visualization and the meditation phrases blend into the actual experience, the feeling of loving kindness.
The Metta Meditation by Anushka Fernandopulle is slightly different and begins with another person to help us cultivate metta for ourselves. You can try it right now http://bit.ly/1Yb7PDw
- Sit comfortably, get present, observe breath <– begin at 10:35min –>
- Get in touch with a positive quality you have ( eg.. kindness, compassion, honesty, patience, etc. you have)
- Bring to mind someone for whom it’s easy to cultivate well wishing ( someone close, child, animal, etc)
- Repeat some well wishing phrases for them
- May You be peaceful and happy
- May You be strong and healthy
- May You be safe from inner and outer harm
- May You care for myself with ease
- Repeat the well wishing for ourselves ( try to put your hand on your heart )
- May I be peaceful and happy
- May I be strong and healthy
- May I be safe from inner and outer harm
- May I care for myself with ease
- Repeat the well wishing for a group (everyone here, all the animals, etc. )< end:27m >
Anushka has other Metta meditations that are on DharmaSeed as well including this really great one that deals with
Other Links To Metta Materials
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