The Simple Loving-Kindness Meditation That Will Change Your Life Forever

Loving-kindness, or metta, from Buddhist meditation is a method we can use to develop our inner compassion through the practice of wishing well towards others and ourselves. In this talk, I’m going to explain how one can begin learning this meditation style and why it’s necessary to find inner happiness.

#1: May You Be Well

Let’s begin to meditate. Breathing in stillness, see if you can quickly arrive in consciousness. Try to just observe thoughts, sounds and sensations without thinking.

We begin to practice loving-kindness meditation with a gentle aspiration: May you be well…

Bring someone to mind with whom you have a warm and uncomplicated relationship. Someone you easily have positive feeling for. It could be a friend, family, an acquaintance, or someone in your life who has deeply cared for you. Just an uncomplicated relationship.

With your eyes closed, visualize this person sitting in front of you while repeating these words towards them:

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from suffering.

These simple words can change your world and create peace for others. They are the basis of our metta meditation practice.

Continue to meditate, sending these thoughts of loving-kindness to the person on your mind. You might visualize this person gleaming with happiness because of your words. You genuinely want them to be happy. Try smiling while you send thoughts of well-being.

#2: Person I Didn’t Care About

Next, think of someone you don’t particularly like or dislike. You feel neutral about this person. Maybe someone at work or in your friend group. We bring this person into our loving-kindness meditation practice to develop our appreciation of those we don’t often consider in our thoughts.

Reflect on this chosen person’s humanity as you wish them well in your meditation.

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from suffering.

I hope you will take time to develop your awareness of those who do not normally stand out to you. They are an equal viewpoint of oneness, and through this practice, we may be able to help reduce their suffering.

Reducing the suffering of others could be our highest cause.

#3: Love To All

The world seems to be lost. Conflicted with animosity. There is much suffering in the world, and lightworkers like you and me are needed to help restore enlightenment. This metta meditation practice we have begun will be our tool in bringing peace back to the world someday.

As we return back to meditating, I want you to open your arms to everyone in the world, including those you dislike or are having difficulty with. Think about all the people living on our planet and says these words…

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from suffering.

Continue to wish loving-kindness on humanity with a smile. Feel the oneness in your connection you have to every single person on our planet.

#4: Embrace Your Enemies

We’ve come to the turning point in our metta practice. Using the positive feelings of loving-kindness we have developed thus far, let’s work to bring an end to our animosity. Think about someone you dislike and would consider an enemy.

Let us think about this person with compassion in order to understand them. They too are an equal viewpoint from oneness, and the traits we dislike in our enemies are usually ones we possess ourselves.

Genuinely wish this person well.

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from physical and mental pain.

May you be free from suffering.

Anger, fear, anxiety, craving, greed and ignorance are the great afflictions of our time. By practicing mindfulness, we are able to overcome them and learn to live in harmony with ourselves and others.

#5: Wishing Yourself Well

Finally, visualize yourself as the recipient of this feeling. You deserve well-being too.

Even though there may be things that you don’t like about yourself—you may feel disappointed, regretful, you may have unfulfilled hopes—realize that you are a good person and deserve happiness. Forgive yourself, smile, and actually wish yourself well.

Feel the light shine around you in bliss as you repeat…

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be free from suffering.

Smile, and accept loving-kindness from yourself.

We now transcend the level of aspiration and look deeply within ourselves in calm meditation. Observe your feelings and understand how each came to be. Don’t think, just observe the answer. Look at your positive and negative traits. As you gain insight on what has been preventing you from being happy in certain areas, do what is needed to achieve positive transformation.

As we become aware of our feelings, our self-understanding deepens. We will see how certain attributes contribute to our unhappiness, how our unhappiness contributes to the suffering of others, and then we will see how we can practice compassion and change ourselves.

Final Talk: Be Compassionate In Everything You Do

Your happiness is not only your own—it has a chain effect that impacts the entire world. When you make a friend smile, his or her happiness will also spread to others. As friends of your friend continue to pass these positive feelings along, that smile you created is spread across entire communities and eventually impacts all humanity.

When you find ways to create peace, joy and happiness, you do it for everyone. In the process, your own suffering will diminish too.

Freedom means transcending the trap of attachment to personal prestige and material items. As a reformed investment banker myself, I know these desires all too well.

All of us, from every walk of life, have a tendency to form attachments. As soon as we are born, we have an attachment to our “self”. Society then trains us to value our self image and work hard to build it up as much as we can. This path inevitably leads to suffering, but we can unwind our pain through meditation. This is the most important tool we have for unwinding our attachment to our ego. As we destroy our ego and learn to see the world through the eyes of the one consciousness, we can become more compassionate and demonstrate loving-kindness for others.

Thank you for joining, and also thank yourself for taking time to wish the world well. If you’re interested, you can listen to my guided meditation for loving-kindness below to continue your practice.
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