Loving-Kindness Practice


Contemplative practices can help develop greater empathy and communication skills, supporting a loving and compassionate approach to life. The Pali word metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. Essentially metta bhavanaor loving-kindness meditation, is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness.

This wonderful meditation has the power to develop four attitudes towards others:
  • loving-kindness
  • compassion (empathizing with others’ suffering)
  • empathetic joy (rejoicing in others’ wellbeing and joy)
  • and equanimity (patient acceptance of both joy and suffering, both our own and others’).
Loving-kindness refers to a mental state of unselfish and unconditional kindness to all beings. The purpose of this meditation is to cultivate a boundless love and to radiate it. Benevolence, compassion, joy and friendship are qualities that bring the serenity of mind.

''May I/you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm and danger.
May I/you be happy and peaceful of heart.
May I/you be strong and healthy of body.
May I/you live in this world with joy and ease and gratitude.
''

I repeat these sentences for myself, then I do this for the friend, then for a  neutral person, and then a person I have difficulty with. I don’t have to like the person I have conflict with. I don’t have to love them. I don’t have to think they’re a nice person. I don’t have to forget bad things they’ve done for  me. But I can acknowledge that they want to be happy and that happiness is hard to attain, and that they don't want to suffer. And it’s not hard, recognizing that they’re just like me. Finally, I repeat these sentences for everyone.

Let's turn our anger and negative feelings to love and compassion, towards us, our friends, people around us and to all those who suffer, all around the world.

Love and Light.

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