Metta, also known as Loving-Kindness meditation, is a traditional Buddhist practice that involves silently repeating phrases of well-wishing and positive intentions towards oneself and others, starting with oneself, then loved ones, neutral individuals, difficult individuals, and eventually extending to all beings.

In its traditional form, Metta is a tool for developing compassion and breaking down barriers of hatred and ill-will. In modern times, Metta is used as a form of mindfulness meditation and practicing Metta has been shown to increase positive emotions, decrease anxiety and stress, and improve overall well-being. By intentionally directing loving-kindness towards oneself and others, one can cultivate a more positive and compassionate outlook on life, leading to improved relationships and a greater sense of inner peace and happiness.

Metta is now practiced globally and has been incorporated into various secular mindfulness programs, therapy practices, and stress-reduction programs. It is often taught as part of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) programs. The practice is simple, and can be done anywhere, at any time, making it accessible to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Here is a basic script for a Loving-Kindness (Metta) meditation practice:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, and close your eyes.
  2. Begin by focusing on your breath and allowing yourself to relax and let go of any tension.
  3. Direct well-wishes and positive intentions towards yourself. Repeat the following phrases to yourself, silently or out loud:
    • “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease.”
  4. Next, bring to mind someone you love and send well-wishes to them. Repeat the following phrases:
    • “May (person’s name) be happy. May (person’s name) be healthy. May (person’s name) be safe. May (person’s name) live with ease.”
  5. Repeat step 4 for a few more loved ones, and then for people in your life with whom you have neutral feelings.
  6. Finally, bring to mind individuals who are difficult for you, and repeat the phrases again:
    • “May (person’s name) be happy. May (person’s name) be healthy. May (person’s name) be safe. May (person’s name) live with ease.”
  7. Lastly, imagine radiating well-wishes and positive intentions towards all beings everywhere:
    • “May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be safe. May all beings live with ease.”
  8. Spend a few moments in silence, focusing on the feelings of kindness and compassion that have arisen during the meditation.
  9. When ready, gently open your eyes and return to your daily activities.

Note: The script and phrases can be adjusted to suit your personal beliefs and preferences. The important thing is to focus on the feeling of kindness and well-wishing towards yourself and others.




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