Metta and loving-kindness meditation

What is Metta and Loving-kindness Meditation?

There are many different forms of meditation that you can practice. And one of them is Metta meditation, or also called loving-kindness meditation. In Metta meditation you practice compassion and unconditional love towards yourself, others and all living beings.
As with many other forms of meditation, not only can the meditation itself be very powerful, but it also helps you in daily life. That you become more aware and can therefore make changes.
You can practice Metta any time of the day, even without meditating.

In this blog I would like to take you through what Metta means, what it can do for you and why it is important to also become aware of the opposite of loving kindness, namely anger. You will also find a guided meditation at the end of the blog.

Where does the word Metta come from?

The word ‘Metta’ comes from Pali and can be translated as ‘loving kindness’, ‘benevolence’ or ‘goodwill’. Pali is an ancient language widely used in Buddhist scriptures and has been used by Theravāda Buddhists in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia for over 2,000 years.

The opposite of Loving-kindness is anger

Loving-kindness, (Metta) is a direct counterpart to anger (Dosa).
Now we all get angry sometimes, and that’s okay. It’s not good to bottle up emotions. But it is good not to dwell on it, and to sometimes reflect on the disadvantages of anger and rage.
Some traditional guided meditations begin with a contemplation of the harm that anger has on a person:
-If you have a lot of anger, you sleep restlessly, and you can have bad dreams.
-In anger you are not aware and mindful and you do not have a correct perception.
-Anger alienates people and creates enmity.
-Anger isolates you from your environment.
-Anger can destroy good friendships.
-Someone who is often angry has a fear of repercussions.
-Anxiety and worry have their roots in anger.
-Anger (in all its manifestations) causes stress and tension.
-And if you have (a lot of) anger, it only affects your own good qualities, not those of others.

Perhaps you have also had the experience that you are sitting with all your angry feelings and emotions towards someone else, and the other person just keeps whistling happily, so to speak. Anger does not help you process or develop further at all.

Be aware of anger

You can practice Metta very well without meditation as well. In your daily life, you can try to be regularly alert when anger, disappointment, despair, envy, jealousy, aversion, resentment, hatred and anger arise. These are all forms rooted in anger.
The more you become aware of these feelings, the easier it will be to accept them and then let them go.

For example, you can regularly repeat this sentence: “Just for today I will not be angry”. (This is one of the 5 basic principles of the Reiki tradition)
Or: “May I be able to free myself from any form of anger”.

Benefits of Loving Kindness

Of course, we all have moments when kindness and benevolence can arise spontaneously. Fortunately!
Besides the fact that it is good to consider what anger does to you, it is equally good to realize what benevolent kindness does to yourself and others.
-It creates mutual trust.
-You do not suffer from remorse and guilt.
-You have an open and alert attitude.
-Gives warmth to others.
-People want to be friends with you.
–Metta has a powerful protective effect against various forms of anger.
-You sleep well, less or no stress or tension.
-And because your head is calmer, you will also be able to concentrate better.

Be aware of loving kindness or benevolent kindness

In everyday life, wherever you are and whoever you see, try to develop a thought of loving-kindness. With Metta it concerns all living beings, so people and animals. And it is important not to forget yourself. Sometimes we can look very critically at ourselves.
For example, you could write the following sentence somewhere and repeat it regularly: May I be able to develop loving kindness in myself.

As with anger, try to be aware of Metta. When do you notice loving-kindness? Is this mainly spontaneous and what if you are challenged when something less pleasant happens?

Metta meditation

There are different forms of Metta meditation; from, for example, 10 minutes to an hour. There are also Metta retreat days. To deepen your practice of Metta, meditation can be very helpful. If you experience a lot of anger, try doing a Metta meditation every day.
And really give yourself the time to develop loving kindness towards yourself and others and remember; Everyone wants just like you:
be safe
be peaceful
be healthy
live with ease


Guided Metta meditation of 10 minutes.

In the link you will find a Metta meditation for beginners. This means that it is relatively short, only 10 minutes, with fewer objects and people to focus on than in a more extensive meditation.
The video consists of a fixed image with the sentences to be repeated visible.

During my yoga classes I sometimes add a Metta meditation, and it is very special to hear what this does to people.  I hope this form of meditation will be beneficial for you too.

Where Metta is Dosa cannot be

And finally, perhaps good to remember and what can help you further develop Metta:
The mind can only really concern itself with one thing.
So if you are suffering from anger, desire, fear, anxiety, attachment or whatever, Metta cannot be there.

Always a good reminder for myself, because in the end that’s what I want; being unconditional and loving towards myself and others. And I also know that I still have a long way to go and I am regularly distracted by anger, impatience, desire, or anything else, whether it be something small or big.

Hi, my name is Jolinda, and I work as a holistic health practitioner.  I provide yoga and meditation classes and massage and Reiki treatments,  mindfulness training and happiness coaching,. 
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