Lovingkindness


Name

Lovingkindness, metta (Pali), maitri (Sanskrit)

Purpose/Effects

This meditation technique will enhance your feelings of unconditional love towards other people. It will also help you to love yourself. It reduces feelings of judgment and condemnation, and increases the sense of compassion, connection, and open-heartedness. You will radiate a sense of peace, love, happiness, and comfort to all around you. If you are upset or angry, this technique will calm you down.

Method

Summary
Wish good things for yourself and other people (and animals, the planet, etc.).

Long Version

  1. Sit in any comfortable meditation posture.
  2. Allow your mind and body to settle.
  3. Now begin to do the metta recitations.A. For Yourself
    1. May I be safe and protected.
    2. May I be peaceful and happy.
    3. May I be healthy and strong.
    4. May I experience well being.

    Continue reciting this for as long as you wish, bringing up feelings of really wishing these things for yourself.

    If you wish, you can end the technique here; or you can continue by by offering lovingkindness to a friend.

    B. For A Friend

    1. May he or she be safe and protected.
    2. May he or she be peaceful and happy.
    3. May he or she be healthy and strong.
    4. May he or she experience well being.

    Continue reciting this for as long as you wish, bringing up feelings of really wishing these things for your friend.

    If you wish, you can end the technique here; or you can continue by by offering lovingkindness to a loved one.

    C. For A Loved One

    1. May he or she be safe and protected.
    2. May he or she be peaceful and happy.
    3. May he or she be healthy and strong.
    4. May he or she experience well being.

    Continue reciting this for as long as you wish, bringing up feelings of really wishing these things for your loved one.

  4. When you are finished, offer to all beings the feelings of love, compassion, friendliness, and openness you are having.

This technique can also be done when going about any other activity.

History

Offering Lovingkindness is a traditional Buddhist technique, usually called by its Pali name, metta.

The version presented here comes from the Buddhist scripture entitled, The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga).

There are, however, many versions and variations in a great number of Buddhist texts. See metta.

Cautions

Do not become lost in complex thoughts about your relationship with the people to whom you are offering lovingkindness. Instead, the intention is simply to radiate love, joy, and happiness to them.

Also, do not become involved in sexual fantasies about a person.

Notes

As your practice of lovingkindness becomes strong, you can also do the metta recitations for neutral persons, or even for people who you may normally consider to be difficult or even "enemies." This is considered to be an advanced version of the practice, only to be done once your momentum of lovingkindness is so strong that doing the offerings for difficult persons will not fill you with negative thoughts and emotions.

Lovingkindness can also be offered for animals, the planet, all beings in the universe, and so forth.

How to Practice Lovingkindness

See Also

What Is Meditation
Meditation Posture

External Links

The Practice of Metta

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