Day 11 of 12 Days of Self-Love: Metta Meditation

We’re in the last two days of our 12 Days of Self-Love challenge! How are you feeling? I hope these past two weeks have inspired you to take a little extra time for yourself this holiday season.

Today’s challenge is to try a “Metta” meditation. Metta means benevolence or loving-kindness. Metta meditation is a meditation focused on sending love to yourself, to someone you love, to a person you don’t have any strong feelings toward, and then to someone you are struggling with. I like listening to guided Metta meditations, and really love davidji’s metta meditation you can listen to here. I also love Jonathan Fields’ version of metta meditation which you can listen to here. In Jonathan’s book How to Live a Good Life, he discusses how Metta Meditation can actually improve empathy and kindness in people when practiced regularly. (How to Live a Good Life is a wonderful book–I highly recommend it).

The outline for the meditation is, starting with yourself, repeat the words, “May I be free. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be loved. May I live with ease.” Repeat these words to yourself, sending yourself love and light for a few rounds of breath. Once you feel ready, let that image go.

Next, think about someone you love, and bring their image to your mind. Repeat the words, “May you be free. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be loved. May you live with ease.”

After a few rounds of that. Let the image of that person go, and bring to your mind’s eye the image of someone you encounter regularly but that you don’t have strong feelings toward (like a grocery clerk or something). Repeat the words, “May you be free. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be loved. May you live with ease.” and send those thoughts to that person for a few breaths. When you feel ready, let the image of that person go.

Bring to your mind’s eye the image of someone you are struggling with. If it’s too strong to bring that person’s image to mind, you can either just send those same thoughts to that person, or send the same thoughts to yourself. Repeat the words “May you be free. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be loved. May you live with ease.” Repeat this cycle for a few breaths, allowing the words to absorb within you and to surround that person with light and love. When you feel ready, let that image go.

Finally, bring to your mind’s eye everyone you just meditated for: yourself, the person you love, the person you don’t have strong feelings toward, and the person you are struggling with. Add in the community and world around you, and send out the same thoughts, “May you be free. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be loved. May you live with ease.”

Let me know if you give metta meditation a try.

With love {and kindness},

Ashley

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