• Francesca Matteoda

Metta meditation

I was hoping to get that kind pigeon pose video out to you this week, but the universe conspired against me, so here is something totally different!

Have you heard of metta meditation? If you have, you'll know how powerful it is; if you haven't, read on.

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a buddhist practice. It is intended to help you cultivate kindness towards yourself and all beings, both human and animal.

It consists of reciting positive phrases to yourself or to the people/animals you want to direct the practice to.

First, you need to open up a space in your heart, in which to cultivate warmth and kindness. You can do that by placing your hand in the middle of your chest, next to your heart, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for a few minutes, or you can visualise someone you love (a person or a pet) until you can feel this "warmth" growing inside you. Next, you visualise yourself in your heart, and repeat positive phrases to yourself.

Once you have done that three or four times, you visualise a friend in your heart space and repeat the sentences to them. If you can't decide which friend to choose, you can pick one to represent all your friends. You now repeat the same positive phrases to them.

Next, you choose someone neutral. This could be the concierge in your block of flats, the baker where you buy your bread, or anyone you come into contact with from time time. It's important that you do not have any feelings towards this person, they need to be totally neutral. You now repeat the sentences mentally, aiming them at this person.

And now for the most difficult part: you choose a difficult person. Someone who annoys you, someone who you have a conflict with. I would recommend starting with someone that's not too conflictive, as you need to ease into this. You repeat the loving kindness phrases to this difficult person.

There are no set phrases, you can create them as you see best for your particular circumstances. Here are some examples:

May I (you) be full of love

May I (you) be healthy and happy

May I (you) find inner peace

May I (you) be content with my (your) life

My suggestion is to start practising this meditation, focusing on yourself. Once you feel comfortable doing that, move on to the others, but don't try doing all of them at once.

Let me know how you get on.

Namaste



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