The Metta Meditation
The Loving Kindness Meditation, also called Metta Meditation, is a practice to cultivate healing, love and kindness, ultimately creating inner and outer peace towards yourself and others. It helps release judgements, foster forgiveness, releases shame, guilt and regret, cultivates self-love, gratitude inner joy, and compassion. If you find yourself critical, gossiping, intolerant, judgmental and blaming, gluttonous or not feeling good enough as a whole, then this is the perfect remedy for you!
There is a tremendous amount of neuro research that demonstrates the power of compassion on structurally changing the brain, in fact, the effects are similar to Prozac. Compassion research shows that repetition of compassion practices over time actually increase activity and neural pathways in the parts of our brain that control positive thinking, discipline and self-confidence, and areas in charge of a feeling of overall well-being. Simultaneously research on compassion shows a reduction in the parts of our brain that are in charge of negative criticism.
Creating a compassion practice leads to enlightenment or what yogis refer to as Jivanmukti, a state of being (total bliss and state of self mastery) that occurs while alive, once a person effectively eliminates latent tendencies and takes control over one’s senses and masters detachment from the material world. Living your yoga is a yoga practice off the mat too, a lifestyle of living your yoga enriched in the Yamas and Niyamas, Yoga is not only good for your physical health, but your mental health and your soul health! Integrate these simple Yogi beliefs and principles into your daily life to help set the metta meditation to action.
- Does no harm to others
- Speaks only the truth
- Remains calm and respond with calm when challenged
- Is compassionate and empathic toward others
- Remains humble yet firm
- Values Self-realization not material gain.
Yogis Live by the acronym THINK - Yes, Before you speak … Think!
· T – is it true?
· H – is it helpful?
· I – is it inspiring?
· N – is it necessary?
· K – is it kind?
Once words leave your mouth it cannot be taken back. It can cause serious damage to communities, families, friends and yourself. It is like committing murder. Remember ‘for every tree there is a little bird listening”. So what you say will get back to the person, and the harm can only be undone through a forgiveness practice and karma cleanse.
Cultivate inner compassion by practicing this compassion meditation. Every day you will get stronger and more loving. You will become more aware of your internal dialog and old latent patterns of harm. With discipline and practice you can change and you can liberate your self and start healthy new patterns, that change the internal dialog from fear based to love based.
START YOUR COMPASSION PRACTICE WITH THE METTA MEDITATION!
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, connect with your breathing. Go inward and welcome each breath in and each breath out. Lengthen through the spine on the inhale and exhale go inward focusing more on your breathing and relaxing. Inhale and engage the quads to support the surrender of the upper body, exhale surrender more… notice the support of mother earth below you, holding you.
Loving-kindness meditation is a repetition of the phrases below. It is repeated 5 times each time directing them at different people.
Start by directing the metta phrases at yourself: (May I be happy…) visualize yourself.
1. May I be happy. May I be healthy and strong. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease. (self)
Next, visualize and direct the metta towards someone you feel thankful for or someone who has helped you. (May you be happy…)
2. May you be happy. May you be healthy and strong. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease. (someone you love)
Now visualize someone you feel neutral about—people you neither like nor dislike and direct the metta toward them.
3. May you be happy. May you be healthy and strong. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease. (someone you have no feelings toward)
Now visualize and direct the metta towards the people you don't like or who you are having a hard time with.
4. May you be happy. May you be healthy and strong. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease. (someone you dislike)
Finally, visualize and direct the metta towards everyone in the universe:
5. May all beings everywhere be happy, may all beings everywhere be healthy and strong. May all beings everywhere be safe. May all beings everywhere be peaceful and at ease. (universe)
Shanti shanti shanti
A daily practice of pranayama filled with self study about the Yamas and Niyamas will strengthen your control over your mind (thoughts) and your body (your feelings).
Come to meditation weekly and also add an asana yoga practice to your daily routine.