“Love and peace are qualities we cultivate through the choices we make. It is up to each of us to make this choice of our own accord and equally our opportunity to share this energy from within. No one can do it for us. So if you wish to see how much love and peace is growing on the planet… be that love and peace and you will begin to notice it all around you. In fact, you will become a part of the very process itself and others will come to know you for this energy in action.
Peace is not a static state as many may think. In reality it is a very dynamic energy that moves in where strife and chaos attempt to control and tempers these situations so that all can be balanced naturally. Love is the same way. When we choose to love unconditionally, we bring the highest potential into every situation and heal generations of conflict… simply by letting go and loving all involved, including ourselves.” – Harold W. Becker
We are now into the last week of our practice together for this year. Take some time today to notice any awareness that may have arisen for you during your exploration of May is for Metta. Also, spend some time considering how you would like to structure your practice going forward. Will you continue to practice Metta or maybe you’d like to explore another type of practice? Will you continue a daily meditation practice? How has it felt to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion for your self, others and the world?
Today, explore carrying the energy of Metta, loving-kindness with you wherever you go. As the above quote explores, the qualities we are working with in our Metta practice our not static, they are dynamic. As you practice Metta, you are bringing the vibration of loving-kindness and compassion with you – into every moment, every interaction and every relationship. This is a conscious choice that you are making to shift your vibration in a way that benefits your own being as well as others and the world. Today, really feel yourself radiating the energy of loving-kindness and compassion out to the people and places around you. Imagine you are a beacon for loving-kindness, a bright light that illuminates life with loving-kindness; and, as you move about this energy is radiated in all directions. You may use the phrases if you feel to – for a specific person, place or group, or even for the whole world. Or, you may just wish to extend the energy or quality of loving-kindness and compassion out to others and the world. This is a quality you now know well. You know how to cultivate it within yourself through your practice; this is the foundation for extending Metta to others. Today is an opportunity to carry that with you more fully into your life, relationships and the world.
Continue with your sitting practice for all of the categories or the ones you choose. If there was a certain category you struggled with, you may wish to spend some time with that category and explore what thoughts and feelings arise as you practice.
Do your foundational practices. Find a quiet place and a comfortable position. Set an intention for your practice. Imagine yourself in a circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness; remember a time when you felt held in unconditional love. Begin your practice by offering the Metta phrases for yourself:
- May I be happy.
- May I be peaceful.
- May I be free of suffering.
- May I have ease of well-being.
When you feel ready to move on, come back to your own heart center and the feeling of loving-kindness within. Move on to practicing for all of the categories or the ones you have chosen for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, Difficult Person and All Beings. As you begin, say, “Just as I wish to be peaceful and happy, so does this being wish to have inner peace and joy.” Repeat the phrases for each category you are working with:
- May you be happy.
- May you be peaceful.
- May you be free from suffering.
- May you have ease of well-being.
As you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns. When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off or move on to the next category. To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion. Really allow that feeling to sink into you, let every atom and cell of your being be filled with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.
Take a few moments to reflect on your practice. Think of all the beings you have practiced for today and over the last month. Ask that the merit of your practice be for the benefit of all beings knowing that in sharing this merit you, too, are receiving immense benefit.
Daily Journal Reflection:
Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today. What have you noticed during your exploration of Metta? Are you planning to continue with Metta? What other practices would you like to explore? Have you taken time to honor yourself for your efforts? If so, how did that feel? If not, what is stopping you? Have you explored journaling as a way to uncover thoughts, patterns and beliefs, which you may be holding that are no longer serving you? Now may be a good time to explore this.
I honor each of you for your willingness to deepen into loving-kindness and compassion.
May you have a peaceful and happy day.