Metta Meditation Night April 2019

Last night’s meditation was focusing on giving love to ourselves and to others

Metta is a word that means loving-kindness

this loving kindness isn’t a wanting or a longing…… its the kind of love that pours forth without needing anything in return and is free of any holding….. like the love you give to your own dog or cat…. the love you give to your child or sibling or parent…….. the kind of love you just can’t help but give

Have you ever intended this kind of loving-kindness to yourself?

What if you sent yourself as much love as you do your pet/child/mother/best friend ?

How would that feel ?

The practice of Metta Meditation starts with yourself.

if this is easier, think of yourself as a small child - full of wonder and innocence

Instead of focusing on the breath or the body sensation or anything else, we focus on the words:

May I be happy

May I be peaceful

May I be at ease

Adding any phrase that feels natural and good to you….

Repeating to yourself in your mind as you really feel the vibration of the words coming again and again

May I be happy

May I be peaceful

May I be at ease

concentrating on those words and noticing what comes up in the body in the realm of sensation, emotion, feeling….. noticing without trying to change anything… just continuing to focus on the phrases as you repeat them

Continuing to do so for yourself for 3-5 minutes or as long as you like….

(if you feel that this is not easy to do for yourself, you can start with your loved one and then practice giving this mantra to yourself)

Then think of someone who you love, who has helped you in some major way in life, who supports you and loves you endlessly back

May this person be happy

May they be peaceful

May they be at ease

Repeat the phrases above or the ones you chose picturing your loved one receiving the words and the loving - kindness behind the words as you say them in your mind for 3-5 minutes (or as long as you like)

Noticing what comes up…… and bringing yourself back to the phrases if you become distracted in any way

Next up think of someone who is neutral to your life….. someone who maybe you see working in the grocery store… or pumping your gas….. or walking on the street…. someone who you know nothing about and haven’t really had any contact with in your life experience…

Send them Metta -

May this person be happy

May they be peaceful

May they be full of ease

Picture the person you are focusing on in your mind and really send them loving - kindness , imagine them receiving your goodwill and experiencing the happiness, the peacefulness, the ease… in their life

even though you don’t know them … offering them a bit of love because just you , they want to be happy, they want to be peaceful, they want to enjoy ease in their life

Continue this way for a couple of minutes and see if you can stay focused on one particular person

Now,,, this part can be challenging for some but give it a go and do your best

Bring to mind someone in your life who is not easy to get along with….someone who annoys you or has wronged you….. bring that person in your mind’s eye and send them Metta the best you can

May this person be happy

May they be peaceful

May they be full of ease

There may be a lot of resistance with this one…. there may be uneasiness in your own body and mind and emotions…. witness to yourself what comes up and what you experience as you say this for them… picturing this person who is not so easy to get along with in your mind as you repeat the mantra or phrases of Metta listed above
if this is just too difficult for you to do - go back to giving yourself or someone you really love the phrases… offering the happiness, the peace, the ease to them or yourself…….

Even if you go one round to this difficult person , faking it until you make it happen….

This meditation is a practice of love - of unconditional love to all beings

In practicing it…. we realize in even a small way that we are alll similar… that we ALL love experiencing love and happiness and peacefulness and ease in our lives

That really when life boils down….. we see that we aren’t really that different underneath all the characteristics , beliefs , perspectives , and life experiences ….

We all have the same emotions….we all wish to be warm and safe and happy and well……..

Wouldn’t that be nice if we gave each other loving-kindness no matter what we did or said all the time?

As you finish take some long healing breaths

Coming back to your body , your heart, your mind

Feeling any sensations that arise and see if you can be with those sensations…those emotions….. giving them your full attention and respect for a couple more breaths

Slowly opening your eyes and stretching a bit through your arms, torso neck and legs

You have now completed the Metta Meditation

This is my favorite meditation that many of the great Buddhist teachers lead… like Pema Chodron and Sharon Salzberg

I will do an audio of this at some point soon so that you all can follow along with it

As you read through this either write down the phrases or even focusing on one…. try this meditation of loving - kindness to yourself, to your loved one, to a stranger, and to someone who is difficult in your life

as you continue to practice this as often as you like… as your capacity to love and understand others and show compassion for others continues to grow and shine

Love to you