May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.
Today we continue our journey with the second stage of the Metta Bhavana, or Loving Kindness, meditation.
As you see, meditation doesn’t have to be difficult. Mostly, meditation is about mindfulness. It doesn’t have to be for long periods of time and even a minimum of 6-10 minutes a day can have a positive effect. Spending 3 – 5 minutes per stage of the Metta Bhavana practice, guided if needed, will enhance compassion for self and others having a rippling effect throughout the room you’re in, your neighborhood, your city, your state, your country and the entire planet.
In the first stage of the Metta Bhavana practice we learn to recognize how we feel; physically, mentally, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually. There is no right or wrong. It’s where we are at in the moment. We come to an acceptance with what we are currently experiencing and then filling that space with unconditional love by wishing ourselves well, happiness, and freedom from suffering. In this stage we are developing compassion for ourselves. Review the introduction and first stage of the Metta Bhavana practice.
Second Stage of the Metta Bhavana Practice
The second stage we learn to develop compassion for others, in particular, someone we care deeply about. Do you notice that how you may feel about yourself may be different than how you feel about someone you are emotionally close to?
So, lets continue to the second stage of the practice.
During this stage we focus on someone we love. This could be a family member, a significant other, or even a close friend. As we call them to mind, we notice how we feel within and then we take the time to extend out blessings to them, buy saying, “May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.”
We sit and intentionally send them these blessings. As you know, this person whom you deeply care about, also wants to live a life of wellness, happiness, and freedom from any suffering.
You may notice changes within from when you were sending yourself Metta versus sending to a loved one. If you notice a change, just observe without judgement. Both you and your loved one experience a commonality. You both desire to live a life of wellness, happiness, and peace (or freedom from suffering mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually).
And so, it is.
Implementing the 2 stages into practice
Take the time to sit, breathe, release any thoughts, tensions and notice your presence. Acknowledge this is where you are at during this moment while understanding and accepting that we are right where we are supposed to be.
Imagine being loved unconditionally, filling your heart-center, and begin wishing yourself well…
“May I be well. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering.” Sit with this for a few moments.
Then call to mind a loved one. Notice any shifts or changes with what you notice internally, if any at all. That unconditional love that initially filled your heart-center send to the loved one you brought to mind and send them blessings…
“May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.” Take a few moments to send Metta to his person by inwardly repeating the phrase a few times.
This concludes the second stage of the Metta Bhavana practice.
We will continue to the third stage next month. In the meantime, if you would like to join a guided Metta Bhavana meditation of all 5 stages, we would love for you to join us.