Loving Kindness

Loving kindness (metta) meditation has been elusive to me before recently. “May you be happy, may you be happy, may you be kind” sounded so cheesy to me. I have, in the past, prided myself on being cynical and skeptical (I am still relatively skeptical of everything to start out with). I consider myself a secular Buddhist and have been listening to Dan Harris’ 10% Happier podcast which is AMAZING. It has recently come to my attention that there is a lot of research that supports metta meditation. Focusing on self love, and then expanding it to eventually include every living being. If this sounds like cheesy new age ultra positivity then you are in “good” company. I was so resistant to it for the longest time until I realized that this was the missing companion to mindfulness meditation and connects my seated practice to my actions. It reduces my anxiety and self centered rumination and consists of three steps:

Build up warm feelings towards yourself and say/think:

“May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace.”

Build up warm feelings towards someone you love, try to think of their face, and say/think:

“May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.”

Build up warm feelings towards everyone on the planet, try to think of their faces, and say/think:

“May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.”

For extra cool points finish by trying to think of your enemy.

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