There are so many different types of meditation you can try. You may have heard of Vedic, Mindfulness, Vipassana and even Transcendental, but have you discovered Metta Meditation yet?
According to the Metta Institute:
“METTA is an ancient Pali (Buddhist) term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence and non-violence. It is a strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others.”
So this type of meditation is concerned with kindness and showing love and compassion not only for others, but for ourselves as well. In fact, it is the practice of this type of meditation to start with yourself and then think about others. How else can we wish others love and kindness if we do not have this for ourselves first?
Metta Meditation is also different in that there is no looking outward for messages or journeys that some other types of meditation seek. We spend so much time looking for answers, or looking to connect with our spirit guides that we sometimes rush past the simple act of loving ourselves and others. It is for this reason that I really love Metta and think you will too.
How to do it
It is easy to divide Metta meditation into five distinct parts so no matter how much time you have you can always incorporate it into your day. I always start with myself and work down the list, leaving around 5 minutes for each part. So if you are a beginner you could focus on 5 minutes to recharge your own energy without having to move on to stage two, or if you want a longer meditation of up to havel an hour, you could to all five sections.
Now I’m a huge fan of being comfortable, so for this meditation you can sit in a chair or lay on the floor; whatever works for you. Once you are relaxed you can start your meditation by simply becoming mindful of your breathing, then:
- It’s Good to Be Me – as you become peaceful and calm let feelings of love fill your heart. This section is about focussing on yourself, so you may find that it helps to imagine an image such as a golden ball of light surrounding your body or to repeat a mantra such as ‘may I be well and happy’ to yourself. This is the first stage and can last a few minutes or be the entire meditation if you are new to it.
- Good Friends Next – visualise a friend you love dearly and feel your connection with them. You may see a golden light shining between your heart and theirs or could say ‘may they be well; may they be happy’ as a mantra while you send them peace and joy. Try to focus just on one friend each time you do this meditation – you can always share the love with someone else next time!
- The Neutral Zone – think of someone you do not particularly like or dislike – an acquaintance more than a friend. Reflect on their qualities, and expand your golden light to include them in your meditation. Repeating the ‘may they be well; may they be happy’ mantra may help you here too.
- It’s Enemy Time – think of someone you really dislike but try to keep any negative feelings about them at a distance. Detach yourself from their drama and include them in your metta practice as well. This one can take some practice, but is also an important part of this type of meditation. In fact, sending love and kindness to those we dislike can actually help situations involving those people. If you sign up for my energy protection tips you will gain more insight into this.
- We’re All in This Together – this is the final stage and can take a bit of practice if you are new to meditation. It can help to think of all four people (above) together first before extending the golden light out further to include neighbours, your town and then further out still to fill the country and the whole world. Visualise this golden light illuminating surrounding the whole planet with love and kindness and as the light is absorbed you can then relax and come out of the meditation.
There are plenty of proven benefits of Metta Meditation so why not add it to your meditation practice and spread some love.