Journey of Well-wishing Continues

As I prepare for the next Metta Bhavana, or Loving Kindness sitting, I reflect on the third stage of this practice.

With this practice we learn to shift from our minds or head to our heart filling that space with nurturing. Non-judgmental, unconditional love. In the first stage we share this unconditional love with ourselves. Each one of us truly desires and deserves to live a life of wellness, happiness, and freedom from suffering. We learn to truly feels what it’s like to hold that space for ourselves.

In the second stage we extend this same feeling of compassion, kindness, and unconditional love to someone whom we deeply care about or love. We know that they certainly desire to be well, happy, and free from any and all suffering, and so we bless them with this well-wishing. In turn, if you observe, also brings us additional joy and love.

You may take some time practicing these two stages together and move to the third stage. Sit quietly wish yourself well:

May I be well. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering.

Then think of a loved one and wish them well:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.

Third Stage of the Metta Bhavana Practice

Today we enter the third stage of the practice. We place our thoughts of our loved one to one side and we call forth someone who is considered a neutral person, an acquaintance, or someone we may see on regular basis however we don’t really know them all that well.

At this time, we breathe and return to our heart center to feel that love and compassion within. While we do so, we bring to mind someone that would be a neutral person in our life. We may know this person from passing them on the street, perhaps they are a store clerk, or maybe someone that we pass in the halls of work or school.

That unconditional love and kindness that so loving fills our spirt we know share to encompass the neutral person. The neutral person, whom we hardly know, has their own life that consists of their own experiences, but they too wish to be well, happy, and free from any and all suffering.

So, while we focus on this individual, we may bless them or wish them well just as we did ourselves and to our loved ones by repeating the mantra or phrase:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.

Simply observe any changes in your body or well-wishing. Is there a difference with you when wishing the neutral person well than say your loved one or yourself?

Some people may feel a greater excitement or willingness to share to a loved one over themselves or a neutral person. Remember, you, your loved one, and the neutral person all strive for the same desire.

To be well. To be happy. To be free from suffering.

So, we can turn to our hearts feeling that unconditional love, and moving out of our heads into feeling overall kindness without judgement, allow that feeling to flow to the neutral person.

This concludes the third stage of the Metta Bhavana practice.

We will continue to the fourth 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. For more information: