The Metta, Loving Kindness practice is very simple, but at the same time profound.
To begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and focus your attention on the experience of loving kindness. You will begin by offering Metta to yourself. If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them go and come back to the practice.
Recite the following phrases to 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 have ease of well being
Continue reciting the phrases in the first person.
Then when you are comfortable, try offering Metta to a someone who supports you, who has always “been on your side.” Forming visualizations of this person while reciting the phrases can be helpful; for example, imagining this beneficiary as a child or grandparent, can assist in ‘opening the heart.’
1. May s/he be safe and protected.
2. May s/he be peaceful and happy.
3. May s/he be healthy and strong.
4. May s/he have ease of well being
Once your Metta flows easily to a loved one, begin to include in your practice one or more of the following categories of persons to whom you will offer Metta:
- A close friend.
- A neutral person (someone you neither like nor dislike)
- A difficult person (no need to start with the most difficult person)
- All beings