Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain.”
- We are nearing the end of our practice. I wanted to offer this teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh today as a reminder of the foundation of our practice and another way to work with the Metta phrases. He refers to Metta as Love Meditation, which is the essence of what it is!
- Also, there is so much research today on LKM or Lovingkindness Meditation. Some of the benefits include:
- Increasing positive emotions
- Decreasing chronic pain
- Decreasing migraines
- Decreasing PTSD
- Activating Empathy
- Decreases biases toward others
- Curbs Self-Criticism
- And, more!
Learn more in this informative post by Dr. Emma Seppala, Science Director for the Stanford Compassion Center, 18 Science-Based Reasons To Try Lovingkindness Meditation.
As shared by Thich Nhat Hanh: “This love meditation is adapted from the Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa, a 5th century C.E. systematization of the Buddha’s teaching. We begin by practicing the love meditation on ourselves (“May I”). Until we are able to love and take care of ourselves, we cannot be much help to others. A ter that, we practice them on others (“May he/she/they”) – first on someone we like, then on someone neutral to us, and finally on someone who makes us suffer.
May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.”
Today, I encourage you to explore working with this beautiful version of Metta. You may wish to offer just for yourself or you may wish to work with other categories. Be curious. Explore!
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.
- Did you explore working with Thich Naht Hanh’s suggested Love Meditation?
- How was it to explore Metta in a different way?
- What did you notice?
- Is this something you might like to continue to explore?
- Are you feeling you will continue with Metta exploration or practice after May 31st?
- What might that look like?
Have a beautiful day!
Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!).