“Let’s now bring to our mind someone who strengthens you, who you’re grateful for, or who brings you a sense of happiness. This can be a pet, a child, a friend, anyone who brings you a felt sense of love and joy. See them, sense them. As you picture them, notice how you feel. Do you feel warmth? Do you smile? Feel into this sensation of loving kindness. Wish this being peace. “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.”
Metta Meditation is a type of Buddhist meditation that helps us to nourish our ability to be compassionate. Metta comes from the Pali language and means benevolence, loving kindness, or compassion. It’s honestly like taking a Vitamin C shot to boost the part of your brain that extends compassion to yourself and others, even others who REALLY challenge you. Like the Grinch during Christmas, your heart might grow 3 sizes during your Metta Meditation.
In Metta Meditation, we focus on a mantra that nourishes our ability to offer unconditional love. In the practice I’ve included here, our mantra is, “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.” During this meditation, we will send this phrase to someone we already love a whole lot, then to someone who is hurting, then to a stranger, then to someone who challenges us, then back to ourselves, and finally to all beings.
You can continue the practice of Metta Meditation beyond this guided meditation. For example when making a cup of coffee in the morning, you can bring to mind a friend in need and say to yourself, “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.” Or you can take 5 minutes on a park bench and bring various people (and animals too!) to mind and repeat, “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.” Anytime your mind wanders, just lovingly bring it back to your manta. Having compassion for your wandering mind is also part of the practice!
Here’s a basic structure for a Metta Meditation that you can do on your own:
- Find a comfortable seat
- Take a few purifying breaths
- Write down your mantra if you need a reminder: “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.”
- Bring to your mind’s eye each of the following one at a time and repeat your mantra:
- Someone you adore
- Someone who is suffering
- A stranger
- Someone who frustrates you
- All beings
- Remember wandering thoughts are part of the practice and just come back to your mantra when they arise
- Thank yourself for taking time to cultivate loving kindness
Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you think about the free guided meditation below. I am so very very lucky that my dear meditation teacher, Shira, read this ancient practice for us. Her voice is just so uniquely perfect and soothing. What a gift!
Also, feel free to forward this meditation to a friend!
Well, everyone, “May you be happy. May you be well. May you live with ease.” Much love from my heart to yours.
Enjoy our free guided meditation: Metta Meditation with Soul Strong Yoga Video
Want to continue your study of Metta Meditation? Here are some articles that I enjoyed reading:
Getting Started with Metta Meditation: https://mindworks.org/blog/getting-started-metta-meditation
Metta Meditation from the Metta Institute: https://www.mettainstitute.org/mettameditation.html
And, I saved the best for last! How To Do Metta by Jack Kornfield: https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-do-metta-january-2014/