Day 12 of May is for Metta: Loving-kindness Practice for Self, Benefactor & Beloved

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Day 12

“The nature of the sun can be called “Maitri” or “Metta”. Maitri or Metta also means friendliness or loving-kindness. Perhaps the reason why loving-kindness is called so is that it generates very warm feeling towards all beings. Like warmth comes from the sun, one who has loving-kindness has a warm heart towards others. Just as the sun shines indiscriminately on any object in the world, “Metta” or “Maitri” pervades all beings without any discrimination. Just as the sun dispels darkness, loving-kindness destroys the darkness of hatred.”                                 – Bhante Gunaratana

As Bhante Gunarantana, a Buddhist monk and teacher shares above, Metta can be thought of like the sun.  It helps to warm our hearts and generate loving-kindness and compassion to others.  It also helps to illuminate the darkness or those places within where we are holding ourselves back or holding feelings, which prevent us from having a deeper connection with ourselves, others and the world.  Metta practice has the ability to shine the light on what we need to see in ourselves and offers a vehicle for working with what we find within ourselves and for others with love, gentleness and compassion.

This weekend, take some time to reflect on your practice so far.  Perhaps you are getting to know yourself better or becoming aware of specific patterns or feelings that emerge as you practice.  Also, in the spirit of the sun, you might like to take your practice outside, find a beautiful place in nature to practice.

Today, we will continue our practice of Metta to the category of a Beloved, a close friend or family member.  A Beloved is someone we feel close to and have a positive relationship with.  Continue to practice for the same person you practiced for yesterday.  We will also include the Benefactor and move through the first 3 categories of the practice in sequence.  So, choose a Benefactor to work with as well.  If you are practicing in nature, you may wish to practice for that place or for one of your favorite places.

Daily Practice: Do your foundational practices.  Continue until you feel the energy of loving-kindness arising in yourself.  When you feel ready, then bring an image of a Benefactor, a mentor, teacher, grandparent, loving animal or place in nature, into your mind.  Begin to offer loving-kindness to this being.  Before you begin the phrases offer, “Just as I wish to be happy and free from suffering, may you be happy and free from suffering.”  Then begin repeating the phrases for your Beloved:

  • May you be safe.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.

Practice for a few minutes for the Benefactor and then move onto the category of the Beloved.  Invite an image of your Beloved, a friend or family member into your mind.  Hold them in your heart and offer “Just as I wish to be happy and free from suffering, may you be happy and free from suffering.”  Then begin to repeat the phrases for your Beloved:

  • May you be safe.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.

Remember, if you are struggling with the practice or having difficult feelings arise, you can always return the practice to yourself for a few moments.  When you feel to go back to whatever category you were working with.  Just call that being back into your mind and heart and continue your practice.  Practice as long as you feel to or have committed to for today.  Dedicate the merit of your practice offering that the benefit is for self, others and that of all beings without exception.  Another way to do this is to say a prayer at the end of your practice in whatever way or tradition feels best for you.

Journal Notes: Did you take your practice outside?  If not, today, I hope you will explore this on another day; it is a wonderful way to practice.  How did it feel to work with a number of the categories?  What did you notice?  Are you remembering to return to yourself when you need to?  How are you feeling about your practice or exploration of Metta overall?

May your day be filled with sunshine and happiness.

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About Beth Terrence

Beth Terrence is a Shaman, Facilitator, Holistic Practitioner, Speaker and Writer. With over seventeen years of experience in field of transformation and holistic health, she is a leader in providing Integrative Transformational Healing Programs For Individuals, Groups & Organization. The focus of Beth's work is to facilitate deep transformational healing, assisting her clients in living a more heart-centered, balanced and joyful life through discovering the healer within. Beth offers online transformational resources through her blog, The Heart of Awakening: Searching for a New Paradigm. She is also an author and facilitator for Heal My Voice, an international organization that helps women to heal, grow and step into greater leadership through writing and sharing their stories. To learn more about sessions, programs, teleseminars and other news, visit http://www.bethterrence.com.

4 responses »

  1. It always amazes me how much better I feel when I’m sending loving thoughts/energy to other people. Almost magically, by moving that energy towards them, I hold it and am therefore affected by it. Love with benefits. ; )

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