The Practice of Metta
Have you ever felt inept to ease another’s suffering? Or have you even had conflict with someone you care about, but in your heart really do wish the best for them despite the distance that divides you?
Yep, me too.
It can be a helpless feeling. However, there is something you can do. It is called practicing Metta.
Metta is the embodiment of compassion, empathy, friendliness, consideration, kindness, and generosity. Metta is an attitude of recognizing that all sentient beings (that is, all beings that are capable of feeling), can feel good or feel bad, and that all, given the choice, will choose the former over the latter.
Metta is the desire that we wish others well, or at least the ones we’re currently thinking about or in contact with.
Estranged from a friend/family member? Rather than marinating in your pain/resentment, or stewing in feelings of self-righteousness, give Metta a try and direct loving kindness towards them. We have no control over others’ thoughts and behaviours, but we do have control over our own responses. Feeling anger and resentment towards others hurts US.
Metta is recognizing our shared humanity – a sharing of a common aspiration to find fulfillment and escape suffering.
Metta is a willingness to consider the perspective of another – to suspend judgments as we have not walked a mile in another’s shoes.
Metta is the most fulfilling emotional state that we can know. It’s the fulfillment of the emotional development of every being.
The practice of Metta can help cultivate a kinder, gentler way of being. Try practicing Metta towards yourself first, and then expand your practice towards others.
May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.
May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
May I be happy.
May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.