The Power Of Metta: Practice Of Loving Kindness

Have you ever awakened to the morning feeling off balance; out of sorts – just not your usual perky self? Perhaps you can relate to; miserable, agitated, angry, frustrated or sad. I know that I have and it doesn’t feel good.  What do you do with these feelings and emotions first thing in the morning? Doing nothing may lead to a day of nothing but struggle – definitely not your best option. Yes, you have choices to help yourself feel better. Sitting quietly for just a few minutes and practicing simple loving- kindness can help remove you from an uncomfortable self-wallowing state – restoring balance, equanimity and joy. The Power of Metta is a practice of loving kindness and I emphasize the word practice. Practice is something we do everyday or often enough to develop a rhythm of consistency and comfort. In case you’re wondering if I’m going fanatic on you – religion and cultish antics have absolutely nothing to do with this simple meditation on universal love and kindness. The Metta Prayer is so pure and powerful I’m often compelled to recite it as I bring closure to the yoga classes I teach as well as my personal practice. I feel good about myself contributing to the general well-being of the universe when I recite this prayer.  Please don’t expect nirvana simply by reciting this universal prayer one time. Consistency of practice is the secret to success in everything we do. Set an intention to give this regular practice of loving kindness your best effort! Namaste – Allison

More About Metta

The Pali word metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. The Pali commentators define metta as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others (parahita-parasukha-kamana). Essentially metta is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest. Through metta one refuses to be offensive and renounces bitterness, resentment and animosity of every kind, developing instead a mind of friendliness, accommodativeness and benevolence which seeks the well-being and happiness of others. True metta is devoid of self-interest. It evokes within a warm-hearted feeling of fellowship, sympathy and love, which grows boundless with practice and overcomes all social, religious, racial, political and economic barriers. Metta is indeed a universal, unselfish and all-embracing love.

Metta makes one a pure font of well-being and safety for others. Just as a mother gives her own life to protect her child, so metta only gives and never wants anything in return. To promote one’s own interest is a primordial motivation of human nature. When this urge is transformed into the desire to promote the interest and happiness of others, not only is the basic urge of self-seeking overcome, but the mind becomes universal by identifying its own interest with the interest of all. By making this change one also promotes one’s own well-being in the best possible manner.

Metta is the protective and immensely patient attitude of a mother who forbears all difficulties for the sake of her child and ever protects it despite its misbehavior. Metta is also the attitude of a friend who wants to give one the best to further one’s well-being. If these qualities of metta are sufficiently cultivated through metta-bhavana – the meditation on universal love – the result is the acquisition of a tremendous inner power which preserves, protects and heals both oneself and others.

Apart from its higher implications, today metta is a pragmatic necessity. In a world menaced by all kinds of destructiveness, metta in deed, word and thought is the only constructive means to bring concord, peace and mutual understanding. Indeed, metta is the supreme means, for it forms the fundamental tenet of all the higher religions as well as the basis for all benevolent activities intended to promote human well-being.

Metta Prayer

May all beings be peaceful

May all beings be happy

May all beings be sage

May all beings awaken to the light

of their true nature

May all beings be free

Check out these wonderfully inspiring posts too:

Mindful Moments: Lessons in Equanimity

Mindful Moments: The Love That Is Given

Bridging The Gap Between Heart And Mind Through Yoga

Taking Care of Ourselves and Others Just Feels Good

© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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  1. Allison, this is so pure in its content, so simple in its directive and so amazing in its power. Thank you so much for posting this lovely metta prayer.

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