Metta Meditation (also known as metta bhavana) is focused on the emotion of loving-kindness. Metta means love (in the non-romantic sense), friendliness or kindness. Bhavana means development or cultivation.
As you begin this meditation focus on the emotion of compassion felt in the heart. Start with about 5 minutes for each of the 5 stages.
Feel free to use the images and mantras for all of the stages or to leave them out. If you have a recording device on your phone or computer you can read this and then listen to the meditation or pass it along to your favourite meditation/yoga teacher and ask to have it in the next class you attend.
- Feel loving-kindness (metta) for yourself
- Become aware of your breath and this moment
- Focus on feelings of peace, calm, and tranquillity
- Begin to feel strong and confident and feel love growing in your heart
- If an image helps – visualize golden light flooding your body
- If a mantra helps – say to yourself, ‘may I be well and happy’
- Bring a good friend to mind – think of all of their good qualities
- Feel your connection with your friend and metta towards them
- Mantra to say to yourself – ‘may they be well, may they be happy’
- Image – shining light from your heart to theirs
- Bring to mind a person that you don’t have a like or dislike towards
- Can be someone you don’t know well – your feelings are neutral to them
- Reflect on their humanity and send them metta
- Use the same mantra and image as stage 2 if that helps
- Bring to mind someone you dislike
- Try not to get caught up in the details of why and the feelings of dislike
- Think of this person in a positive light and send them metta
- Think of all the people from this meditation – self, friend, neutral person and enemy
- Extend your feelings to everyone around you in this room, building, town, country, world and then universe
- Send out waves of loving-kindness from your heart to every being
- Begin to relax out of this meditation, come back to the breath and to this place
- Tip forward slightly and let your eyes blink open when you are ready
Offering this to my students this afternoon!