Metta Meditation

My life changed for the better when I began meditating.  My favorite meditation on the days when I have trouble letting go of my thoughts is the Metta Meditation.  Also called loving kindness meditation, this mantra focuses our minds on compassion for ourselves and others.  You can vary the phrasing to suit yourself.

This is what works for me.  First I get still.  I take a deep breath, pulling my shoulders up to my ears.  Then, as I exhale, I let out a loud sigh, dropping my shoulders and relaxing.  Then I take another deep breath, and relax as I exhale.

Next, I breath naturally, focusing on my breath but not forcing it.  I continue this for a few breaths until I feel relaxed and still.  With my next 4 breaths, on each exhale, I repeat the following phrases one per exhale:

May I be safe.  May I be well.  May I be content.  May I be peaceful and at ease.

Next, I think of someone in particular or humanity in general, and on the next 4 exhales, repeat one of the following:

May you be safe.  May you be well.  May you be content.  May you be peaceful and at ease.

Barbara Frederickson, the noted psychologist, in her Open Heart study, found that her variation of this same mantra was proven to be effective in inducing positive emotions.  Once you begin feeling more positive emotions, it spirals, and you become more resilient.  For more on this subject, check out her book:  Positivity

To learn more about Metta Meditation, check out the Metta Institute.

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About Betti

I love to meditate, read, sew, and crochet. Most of all, I love to share what I have learned in my time on the planet.
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