Metta or Loving-Kindness meditation includes channelling warmth and positivity to ourselves and to the ones around us. This meditation grows compassion and empathy in our minds and then increases happiness, overall well being and reduces stress. It also enhances our relationship with the people around us. Before discussing the benefits of Metta meditation let us discuss in brief the meaning of metta meditation and how easily you can practice this form of meditation.
The Origin Of Metta Meditation
Around 2600 years ago, Metta meditation was taught by Buddha. It is still practised in various traditional Buddhist communities on this day with all the original values and methods. Most of the communities that follow metta meditation include the discourse about Loving Kindness. Here they follow Buddha’s preaching where he wishes us that whether we are in gladness or safety, we may stay at ease. Whatever living beings exist around us, but if they are strong or weak, let everyone feel the same way. He discusses in this prayer every type of being, short, mighty, healthy, wealthy or medium to be at ease.
This is a form of well-wishing for the people around us. It has become very popular in the west. It is a suite of practising faith and traditions accordingly. To integrate this behaviour in our regular sitting, one can either begin the Buddhist loving-kindness meditation practice with a moment of metta or end it with the same.
Practising Metta Or Loving Kindness Meditation
There are different ways to practice Metta meditation which is actually based on different Buddhist traditions. Each of these ways of meditation uses the same core psychological operations. While you practice in metta meditation you generate kindness and compassion towards yourself and others.
Take out some time for yourself and sit comfortably. Close Your eyes and relax your muscles. Take a deep breath. Imagine yourself in a completely peaceful environment. Imagine the perfect love and relationship you have always craved for. Focus on the feeling of inner peace and imagine breathing out the tension and stress. Repeat this process three or four times. After this process is completed, bask in the feeling of compassion and warmth. And thus let these feelings be held in your values and beliefs.
You can either choose to stay focused on the duration of your meditation or shift your voice to your loved ones. Try to start this process with someone you love dearly. Feel the gratitude and love for them and stay around for a while. Recite some reassuring phrases and keep it a positive approach. Once you start holding onto this feeling of love and kindness, you bring more important people from your life into your awareness and envision a perfect relationship with them. Branch out with your friends, family, neighbour, etc.
These feelings of love and kindness towards the people around you can bring to a greater connection and compassion. With a longer time around such a positive approach, you might also want to include the one with whom you have a conflict. You will want to reach out to the place of forgiveness.
When you feel that the meditation is complete, you can open your eyes and remember that you can always revisit these wonderful feelings you generate throughout the entire meditation. Internal peace and calm can actually help you harmonize the feelings.
Making Your Metta Meditation Effective
When you first start practising the Loving-kindness meditation, you are the sole subject during the whole process. However, as you get comfortable with the imagination of your loving phrases, you can add the visualization concept to the practice of meditation.
To make this process of meditation more effective you can start directing your loving-kindness meditation towards the difficult and most complicated relationships in your life. This form of meditation bolts your feeling of forgiveness and helps you let go of the hatred you might have built in for ages. It increases the sense of inner peace. As you develop a regular practice of Metta Meditation, you may want to set a gentle alarm to check up on how much time you spend on focusing. And then your behaviour might become calmer and calmer every day.
You must remember that meditation can be practised in many different ways. The method outlined is just a sample of the metta meditation that follows it in daily routine. You can come up with your own ways to handle loving-kindness meditation in your own way that can work best for you. As long as you focus on the energy that brings compassion and kindness, you can expect to gain benefits from the practice.
What Are The Top 5 Benefits Of Practicing Metta Meditation?
Practising Metta Meditation on a regular basis can be beneficial to both your mind and body. It can escalate your spiritual health. Let us discuss some of the benefits in detail.
A Gradual Growth In Self-Compassion
People who practice metta meditation tend to inculcate self-compassion. It can help one to increase mindfulness in people with the post-traumatic disorder. It can reduce the symptoms and thereby help the individual handle themselves with greater respect and strength.
Reduces Stress And Anxiety
According to the meditation practice, you can definitely create a sense of calm within yourself. Metta meditation leads you to develop self-compassion and thus, perceive yourself with more positivity. Metta meditation promotes loving and kindness in your nature. This creates such positive characteristics in your everyday behaviour that can help you reduce stress and anxiety.
Decrease In Actually Feeling The Pain
When you give out a sense of calm, the negative emotions in your body tend to release themselves out of your body. We all know how emotional stress can worsen physical pain. Thus, when you are in that state of calm, your body increases your tolerance towards pain. Positive emotions inculcated through metta meditation can have the opposite effect on pain.
Stress-relieving activities and metta meditation practice can reduce the effect of ageing. Various chronic diseases increase the speed of biological ageing. But, when you enhance your lifestyle with calm and composure, you can have improved longevity.
Maintaining Social Connections
Metta meditation can help you nurture your relationships. How does it help you, you may ask? Well, you can recite kind phrases and extend your kindness towards the people who are around you. Extend your kindness and loving nature towards everyone around you. It will bring out the strength in your relationships. Metta meditation helps you think about others and recognize your feelings towards people around you.
Metta Meditation For Beginners
Be patient and don’t expect sudden results. The process of metta meditation is a slow and gradual process. You’ll see the changes slowly with consistently practising metta meditation daily. Your mind will drift or get distracted post-meditation. Don’t worry, it’s totally okay. But, you should just come back to your positive thoughts and stick to them. Try to focus on the moment where you look up toward positivity. Don’t directly start thinking about the future.
When practised regularly, metta meditation can help you minimize the negative emotions and thereby direct you toward a greater approach of living a life. Like various other forms of mindful meditation, it will definitely reduce physical pain and stress.
To conclude, you can say that Metta meditation will need a lot of patience on the practitioner’s end. Expressing gratitude towards people around us is a natural form of love. Bring out your openness towards a new cause and approach to lifestyle. A few minutes every day and you will see the changes over time. During the loving-kindness meditation, your focus must lay upon yourself and how you can help others around you. Research shows various benefits of Metta Meditation, both scientific and spiritual. With utmost dedication, you can achieve great results. The core intention of this Buddhist meditation resides upon generating kind intentions towards people we want it targeted towards. This may vary from person to person and traditions to rituals. But, you can always start and see how positively it could change your life.