Metta (Lovingkindness) ​

The practice of metta has the potential to become a profound and liberating force in one’s life. The benefits of this meditation become clearer the more one practices it. Metta gives us options, other ways to respond to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the words and actions of others.

It is a profoundly different way to face the challenges of everyday life. When we experience impatience, frustration, sadness, or anger, metta can be the active practice that cools these sources of suffering.

To practice metta is to experience freedom and transformation. Metta literally offers us another way to live our lives––another way to think, speak, and act. This way is immensely positive, loving, and filled with hope. Metta is the specific act of training the mind to be more kind, loving, and generous of spirit. When life gets challenging, metta can be our default.

Metta Meditation

(Short version for everyday use. Modify the phrases as desired.)
Sit in a position that you can maintain for the desired length of time.
Repeat these phrases at a comfortable pace that allows you to sustain concentration.

May (I and) all beings be safe;
May (I and) all beings be happy;
May (I and) all beings be healthy;
May (I and) all beings live with ease.
(To “live with ease” refers to dealing with life’s everyday activities––relationships, children, traffic, the workplace, etc.)

  • Use the above phrases, or your own modifications, silently offering metta first to yourself:
    May I be safe; may I be happy; may I be healthy; may I live with ease.
  • Next offer metta to a benefactor (often described as one who brings a smile to your face)
    May you be safe; may you be happy; may you be healthy; may you live with ease.
  • Next offer metta to a close friend: May you be safe…
  • Next offer metta to a neutral person––someone for whom you have no strong feelings of
    like or dislike: May you be safe… 
  • Next offer metta to someone with whom you are having difficulty: May you be safe…
  • Next offer metta to an ever-widening circle––those in the room with you: May you be safe…
    in the city, the state, the country, the earth, the universe: May you be safe…

Just for fun, silently offer metta to strangers you pass on the street, in the supermarket, in a crowded train. Notice how it feels to think with a heart/mind of lovingkindnes

The Karaniya Metta Sutta

(Buddha’s teaching on Lovingkindness)

This is what’s done by one skilled in what’s good,
Who reaches toward that most peaceful state:
One would be capable, and straight—quite straight;
Well-spoken, gentle, without too much pride;

Content with little, easily maintained,
Not doing too much and lightly engaged;
Thoughtful, with a peaceful demeanor, and
Modest, without greed among worldly things.

One would not do even the slightest thing
That others who are wise would speak against.
May they be secure and profoundly well;
—May all beings be happy in themselves.

Whatsoever living beings exist,
Without exception, whether weak or strong,
Whether tall and large, middle-sized, or short,
Whether very subtle or very gross,

Whether visible or invisible,
Dwelling far away or not far away,
Whether born already or not yet born
—May all beings be happy in themselves.

Let no one work to undo another.
Let no one think badly of anyone.
Either with anger or with violent thoughts,
One would not wish suffering on others,

Just as a mother would watch over her
Son—her one and only son—with her life,
In just the same way develop a mind
Unbounded toward all living creatures.

Develop a mind of lovingkindness
Unbounded toward the entire world:
Above and below and all the way ‘round,
With no holding back, no loathing, no foe.

Standing, walking, sitting or lying down,
As long as one is devoid of torpor,
One would resolve upon this mindfulness
—This is known as sublime abiding here.

Without falling into mistaken views,
Endowed with insight and integrity,
Guiding away greed for sensual things,
One would not be born again in a womb.

This is what’s done by one skilled in what’s good,
Who reaches toward that most peaceful state:
One would be capable, and straight—quite straight;
Well-spoken, gentle, without too much pride;

Content with little, easily maintained,
Not doing too much and lightly engaged;
Thoughtful, with a peaceful demeanor, and
Modest, without greed among worldly things.

One would not do even the slightest thing
That others who are wise would speak against.
May they be secure and profoundly well;
—May all beings be happy in themselves.

Whatsoever living beings exist,
Without exception, whether weak or strong,
Whether tall and large, middle-sized, or short,
Whether very subtle or very gross,

Whether visible or invisible,
Dwelling far away or not far away,
Whether born already or not yet born
—May all beings be happy in themselves.

Let no one work to undo another.
Let no one think badly of anyone.
Either with anger or with violent thoughts,
One would not wish suffering on others,

Just as a mother would watch over her
Son—her one and only son—with her life,
In just the same way develop a mind
Unbounded toward all living creatures.

Develop a mind of lovingkindness
Unbounded toward the entire world:
Above and below and all the way ‘round,
With no holding back, no loathing, no foe.

Standing, walking, sitting or lying down,
As long as one is devoid of torpor,
One would resolve upon this mindfulness
—This is known as sublime abiding here.

Without falling into mistaken views,
Endowed with insight and integrity,
Guiding away greed for sensual things,
One would not be born again in a womb.

Found in the Suttanipāta and Khuddakapāṭha Suttas
(Translation by Andrew Olendzki, Buddhist scholar and CMC faculty member)

“Few people can connect with me like the CMC teachers. How do they always know what I need to hear?”

Sunday sessions: 10:30 AM–Noon   593 Columbus Ave. (NE corner of 88th)
Wednesday sessions: 6:30–7:30 PM   150 West 83rd St. (Columbus–Amsterdam)
Both locations are ADA compliant    No registration required
10:30 AM–Noon
593 Columbus Ave. (NE corner of 88th)
 
6:30–7:30 PM
150 West 83rd St. (Columbus–Amsterdam)
 
Both locations are ADA compliant
No registration required

Copyright ©2019 The Community Meditation Center. All Rights Reserved.