Metta meditation is a form of Buddhist meditation that has been practiced for more than 2500 years. It is also referred to as Loving-Kindness Meditation but it was originally called “Metta Bhavana” in Pali language (ancient Indian language). “Metta” means love, kindness and benevolence, and “Bhavana” means “development” or “cultivating” or “producing”. Therefore, Metta Meditation is truly a practice in which you cultivate positive emotional states towards other people, as well as towards yourself. In a simple way, it could be defined as universal friendliness to all beings.
Imagine yourself in a group of people and everybody starts to talk about how the world is going wrong with wars, destruction of our planet etc. The chance you get angry or sad is quite high, and you’ll thus start to cultivate those negative emotions inside of you unconsciously. You’ll feel stressed in your daily life without even knowing where it comes from…
But now just imagine the opposite. You are in a group with people talking about all sorts of positive thinks such as love, how amazing people are developing projects to help people in need etc. Well, now you’ll start to cultivate positive emotions and the way you conduct your life will be more focused on helping the collective, spreading your love, rather than being selfish, stuck in a state of fear…
In a simple way, Metta meditation will help you to be more in harmony with yourself and with the world.
How to practice Metta Meditation?
You can practice Metta meditation anywhere but of course, it is advisable to do it in silence and in a comfortable position to be more focused.
Metta meditation’s practice is generally divided in 5 stages:
- First, focus on feeling metta for yourself. You may start by repeating phrases like: “May I be happy, may I be safe, may I be peaceful etc.”, or you can use visualization and imagine a golden light flooding your body.
- In a second time, you’ll apply the same things to someone you like. You’ll repeat phrases like: “May he/she be well, may he/she happy, may he/she be healthy and strong etc.”, or you can also visualize a shining light spreading from your heart to your friend’s.
- You’ll then apply the same things to someone you don’t particularly like or dislike (neutral person).
- Then, you’ll do the same for someone you consider as an “enemy”.
- In the final stage, you’ll gather everybody in your mind: you, the person you like, the neutral person and your enemy, and follow the same process with phrases and visualization. Step by step, you’ll extend these positive feelings to everyone and every being around you, in your neighbourhood, all over your country, your continent, and then throughout the whole world.
Metta Meditation truly helps you to focus on positive emotions. It can help you be more joyful and happy, and prevent negative thoughts to come up in your mind. According to scientific studies, a 7-minute session of Metta meditation can help give a more positive outlook and increase social connections and positivity towards strangers.
Benefits of practicing Metta Meditation
Here are a few benefits of Metta meditation:
- Increases positive emotions
Studies have proven that a seven-week long meditation process increases positive emotions, helping you feel more loved, joyous and content. Globally, it increases your overall happiness.
- Increases self-love
It’s important to learn to love yourself and accept the way you are; and the practice of Metta meditation helps you to do that.
- Increases empathy and compassion
Metta meditation isn’t just about feeling good about yourself. The more you practice, the more it’ll help you improve your relationships, and make you become more empathic and compassionate.
- Facilitates healing
Scientific studies prove that Metta meditation decreases migraines and chronic pain. It’s also a big help when it comes to reducing stress, depression and other troubles.
The practice of Metta meditation can change the world by helping you to change your own inner world! The more you’ll change the perception of your life in a positive way, the more it’ll impact others at different levels. The more people practice loving-kindness meditation, the more the world will live in compassion and know peace in a faster and deeper way.
Just a 7-minute session of Metta meditation can help to calm and soothe your body and soul, so are you ready for it yet? Let us know if you practice this type of meditation or how you feel about this practice in the comment section below.