In this meditation we cultivate benevolence (mettā bhāvanā) for ourselves and for others.
From 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
Tip: In order to get the most out of the meditation its is wise to extend it a bit to have time to really feel into it.
This is a guided meditation, someone speaks the written text bellow.
Tip: Establish a rhythm when the phrases are to be spoken, get in sync.
This meditation can be done both sitting, standing or whilst lying down. Just make sure that you chose a position that helps you remain alert for the entire meditation.
Tip: The one who is guiding should be sitting or standing, to make sure that one is heard.
No additional material is needed for this meditation.
Tip: If you are sitting down, meditation cushions are a recommendation to be able to sit for longer periods of time.
The one who guides speaks the following:
Just enjoy your breath for the next few minutes. Then begin to repeat the phrases listed. We can either coordinate the phrases with the movement of our breath or simply let them sink into our mind.
May I be peaceful, happy and detached in body and mind.
May I be free from hurt and grievance.
May I be free from anger, entanglement, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of love and understanding.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness within me.
May I learn to identify and recognize the sources of anger, desire and delusion within me.
May I learn how to nurture the seeds of joy within me daily.
May I be able to live fresh, steady and free.
May I be free from attachment and rejection, but not indifferent.
We first start by developing mettā for ourselves. It is important that we do not try to force loving feelings within ourselves. When feelings of unwillingness, pain or sadness arise, we continue to breathe calmly. We accept these feelings, let them go and return to the sentences.
After we have practiced mettā for a while directed at ourselves, we practice loving-kindness for a living being (a person or even an animal) who has done good to us, for whom we feel gratitude, love or respect.
The next step is to send mettā to someone with whom we have no particular dislike or affection.
Finally, we send out mettā to someone we are angry with or have been very hurt by. By slowly opening our boundaries towards those people with whom we have difficulties, our love gradually becomes boundless, unconditional love.