Metta bhavana is a Buddhist tradition of meditation that teaches us to be kind and gentle by cultivating a positive relationship first with ourselves and then the rest of the world. The commonest form of the practice is done in five stages, this is stage one…
- Close your eyes, grounding yourself on your seat. Make sure you are fully supported and present.
- Become aware of the breath, and just breathe slowly and deeply. With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed. With every breath feel the beating of your heart.
- After a minute silently call your name. Remember to breathe.
- After another minute say to yourself, “May I be happy,” then breathe and acknowledge how this feels. Then say, “May I be well,” then breathe and acknowledge how this feels. Then say, “May I be kind towards my suffering,” then breathe.
- Allow yourself to sit in stillness with whatever arises. After a few minutes say, “May I cultivate more kindness within my heart. May I cultivate more peace within my heart, May I continue to develop and grow.”
- Continue to recite these phrases, leaving a minute or two between each, staying connected to the beating of your heart and bringing compassion to whatever arises.
- After ten minutes bring the practice to an end.
If our hearts are full of love and kindness for ourselves, there is little room for anger. Such mental states may arise, but love and compassion is the healing salve that soothes our suffering.