Metta Meditation

Metta meditation is used to help you learn to develop the ability to wish others only happiness. It literally means unattached, unconditional kindness. In today’s world this is not easy. It is strongly believed that if you are successful at metta meditation you will gain loving compassion for everyone around you.

Metta meditation is part of the Buddhism School called Theravada which is the oldest remaining Buddhist school. It is one of ten pāramitās (practices to be learned to perfection) taught there.

In Buddhism this is a very popular form of reflection. You begin with deep mindful breathing. This gives you the proper setting for contemplation. You then repeat specific phrases that should begin to give you a feeling of being heart-warmed. Then you begin the six stages of metta meditation.

The first step in metta meditation is learning to treat yourself with kindness. Then you move on to a good friend, you should pick someone who is close to your age and that you have no sexual attraction for. A person who is “neutral” is the next type for consideration, this should be someone you see regularly but does not give you any feelings of strong emotions, either positively or negatively. Metta meditation requires that the last type of person should be someone you have negative feelings towards, but do not pick someone who has just inflected the source of resentment. Then you take all four and work toward feeling genuinely loving toward each of them, equally. Your last step of metta meditation will be learning how to feel that way toward the complete universe.

Practicing metta meditation will allow you to learn to control your anger and help to calm your mind when you are feeling stressed. The thought being that when you truly master metta meditation, people will begin to see a change in you. They should see a more compassionate, less self-absorbed person. When people are around you they will begin to feel happier and more at ease in your presence.

Some non-specific benefits from metta meditation that you may notice are becoming more appreciative, patient and receptive. If you suffer from nightmares or insomnia metta meditation can help ease them. You may notice you are less stressed, because those who practice metta meditation learn to let go of feelings of anger or resentment.

Though metta meditation revolves around loving-kindness it is not a romantic type of love. The type of love is very specific. It is about being able to care for someone’s well being with out any self interest gratification. You will be able to learn kindness and generosity and be able to apply the principle to anyone. It will not matter whether they are rich or poor, a friend or foe, or what religious back ground they may have. It is a long held belief that if you can master metta meditation you cannot only contribute to peace, love, and happiness in your own circle but on a global scale also.

By Rob Gerrard

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