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  • Writer's pictureHyparxis Perservation

The Lovingkindness Prayer: Metta Meditation

Updated: Feb 17

Metta. Meta.

Remember when the term meta was a slang term, for five minutes?

There was some confusion, as the term metta has been used within the yoga community for some time now.

Metta is a term that refers to one of the 10 perfections of Buddhism and is the first of the four Buddhist virtues, or "immeasurables." It can be translated as "benevolence," "loving," "friendship" or "kindness."

Metta means to care and wish well for another being without judging them, to accept them independently of agreeing or disagreeing with them, and without wanting anything from them in return. It is a universal love that can overcome all social, religious, ethnic, political and economic barriers. As a result of metta, one can experience another state of the four Buddhist virtues: joy, a true happiness in another's happiness.

In slang, however, there is a nod to the spiritual and the removal of a ‘t.’

Meta means about the thing itself. It's seeing the thing from a higher perspective instead of from within the thing, like being self-aware.

When diving into the concept of self-love, the Metta Prayer comes up. This prayer is a grounded decision to send love to yourself, to others, and to the universe.

The Metta Meditation/Prayer For Yourself

The first wishes within the meditation are to yourself.

Consciously, no doubt, the ancient mystics knew that in order to work in the world of love and to emanate love, you must first love yourself.

But are we correctly taught how to do this?

Growing up a lot of emphasis is placed upon loving others. Giving to another. Serving another.

Yet, the rule that has been called golden even refers to the way to move forward as:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

First, we must do unto ourselves. This is and continues to be the challenge, doesn’t it? And this is where we must truly honor the light of the universe, and that it connects to ourselves.

So the first aspect of the metta prayer is to consider US.

How natural and how easily does that come along?

The metta prayer gives us a guide. Start with yourself, as the source, as the connection and pray:

May I be happy,

May I be healthy,

May I be safe,

May I live with ease.

The Metta Meditation/Prayer For Others

Next, we pray for others. This can be the easiest portion - think of those you love and wish them the same. It is often said that we can even wish these things upon pets. How wonderful that is!

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you live with ease.

The Metta Meditation Prayer for A Stranger

Next we take these words and we apply them to someone that we find to be neutral in our lives. A person you pass in the store, or on the sidewalk. The guy who just checked you out.

This allows us to get in tune with the way the universe exists.

To think of those beyond our circle and to wish them well.

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you live with ease.

The Metta Meditation Prayer for A Challenging Person

Now, if you are human, chances are there is someone that is causing some struggles in your life right now.

We have all been there, or are there now.

Send lovingkindness to that person/individual.

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you live with ease.

The idea here is that your mindset will change toward that person and open up the universe to do work in their lives, or yours, on the prayer’s behalf.

SUMMARY: Metta For Change

Starting with love is key.

First yourself, then on to others. In this manner, change is possible. You are capable of well-being in all areas of your life. It may seem impossible, and it may seem complex to even fathom well-being. But, it is there for you. It is possible.

The challenge is often the change - it is more than making it a habit. It is an agreement to make your life increasingly well.


The Metta Practice

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