Kindness: beauty that remains

Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta meditation is a centuries old practice that originally comes from the Buddhist tradition. It involves repeating phrases that send out your wish that you, and all beings, be happy, peaceful, and healthy.

The phrases are traditionally something like:

May I (you / we) be happy
May I (you / we) be peaceful
May I (you / we) be well

You begin by saying these phrases to yourself and then to an increasingly wider group: starting with someone you love or feel close to, then someone neutral, someone you have some negative feelings about, and finally expanding this out to all beings.

For those of us who tend to err on the side of cynical it might sound a little simple and sugary on paper. But as Sharon Salzberg, leading meditation teacher and author of Lovingkindness, puts it:

… in reality, the practice of loving-kindness is about cultivating love as a strength, a muscle, a tool that challenges our tendency to see people (including ourselves) as disconnected, statically and rigidly isolated from one another. Loving-kindness is about opening ourselves up to others with compassion and equanimity, which is a challenging exercise, requiring us to push back against assumptions, prejudices, and labels that most of us have internalized.

And as I’ve found with a lot of aspects of yoga, It’s only when you actually get on your mat and practice with intention and attention to really experience what it’s really about!

Summary: Bring to mind now, and see if you can offer loving kindness to yourself, by letting these words become your words:- MayI be safe May I be happy May I be healthy May I live in peace, no matter what I am given May my heart be filled with love and kindness. 

by Jenny Savage