A Year of Loving Kindness

Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation

Join the Shala in committing to the Loving Kindness Metta Meditation for a year.

Day of 365

Loving-Kindness (Metta) is a Buddhist practice to develop impartial and unconditional love. Initially taught by the Buddha, it exists in most ancient spiritual disciplines. Feelings of loving-kindness are cultivated using visualization and affirmations which are projected onto others. It is reported to reduce irritation, anger and hatred, while improving patience and the ability to forgive.

Begin with yourself. Breathe gently, and recite inwardly the following traditional phrases directed to your own well-being. You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others.

May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body and mind.
May I be at ease and happy.

As you repeat these phrases, picture yourself as your are now, and hold that image in a heart of lovingkindness. Or perhaps you will find it easier to picture yourself as a young and beloved child. Adjust the words and images in any way you wish. Create the exact phrases that best open your heart of kindness. Repeat these phrases over and over again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind. Practice this meditation for a number of weeks, until the sense of lovingkindness for yourself grows.

Meditation in Costa Rica

When you feel you have established some stronger sense of lovingkindness for yourself, you can then expand your meditation to include others. After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved or truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:

May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.

Let the image and feelings you have for your benefactor support the meditation. Whether the image or feelings are clear or not doesn't matter. In meditation they will be subject to change. Simply continue to plant the seeds of loving wishes, repeating the phrases gently no matter what thoughts may arise. Expressing gratitude to our benefactors is a natural form of love. In fact, some people find lovingkindness for themselves so challenging, they begin their practice with a benefactor. This too is fine. The rule in lovingkindness practice is to follow the way that most easily opens your heart.

Committed to Practicing Love

Pacific Ashtanga Version

May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body, mind, and spirit.
May I be at ease and happy.
May I receive light and be a light in the world.

Testimonials

Meditation
"Thank you. It's such a beautiful meditation, and I've given it to a close friend who is also doing it. I'm learning that the more you do it, the stronger and more powerful the meditation is. It also feels like just a little something you can do in this crazy world right now. It gives me peace." ~ Cathy

This year we dedicate the light and love from our Mangrove tree Shala to our families, the community, and the world.