Metta Meditation & Collective Compassion

Compassion meditation involves silently repeating a mantra, phrase, or word that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, and from indifference or dislike to understanding. Loving-kindness, or metta, is an expression or prayer of unconditional and inclusive compassion that begins with yourself and extends out into the world. Authentic compassion has no conditions; it does not depend on whether one “deserves” it or not; nor is it restricted to friends and family; it extends out from the personal to the collective. It is to exude compassion to living beings without expectations of anything in return. 

This is the ideal, pure love, which everyone has in potential. We begin with loving ourselves, for unless we have a measure of this unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves, it is difficult to extend it to others. Then we include others who are special to us, and, ultimately, all living things. Gradually, both the visualization and the meditation phrases blend into the actual experience, the feeling of loving kindness. Metta meditation is the softening of the mind and heart; the process is first one of softening, breaking down barriers that we feel inwardly toward ourselves, and then those that we feel toward others.

Take a very comfortable posture. Begin to focus on your “heart center.” Breathe in and out from that area, as if you are breathing from the heart center and as if all experience is happening from there. Anchor your mindfulness only on the sensations at your heart center. Breathing in and out from the heart center, begin by generating this kind feeling toward yourself. Continue to breathe in and out while repeating either of these traditional phrases or choose one that is unique to you.

May I be happy.
May I practice forgiveness
May I practice self-acceptance
May I be free of mental suffering or distress.

Next, move to a person who most invites the feeling of pure unconditional loving kindness, the love that does not depend on getting anything back. You may be challenged by this person, or this person may have hurt you in the past. Continue to breathe and meditate from your heart space.

May this person be happy and free
May this person experience joy
May the person feel loved 

Now, include all living beings in your mediation. Focus on the compassion, acceptance, and kindness emitting to all of those who are on this planet; receiving this gift from you

May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free

May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free
May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free