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Metta Bhavana

The Development of Loving-Kindness

Metta Bhavana is a meditation practice that balances the Insight Meditation. During Insight Meditation we are mostly concerned with purifying the mind and making insights into a more profound reality. In Metta Meditation, we are concerned with the development of wholesome qualities of mind and to share this merit with all beings. Metta, indeed, can be developed only if one gives it to boundless beings without discriminating and without expectation of some thing in return. It should be free of selfishness or attachment. The object of metta meditation should be infinite beings. Therefore metta should be extended towards all beings without exception. May all beings be well and happy, it embraces all living beings.

This meditation simply uses the power of positive thinking and self-suggestion. As soon as I say to myself "I need a holiday", I have made a suggestion to myself. I thing it over and then I make a decision to organise one. This is positive thinking. Soon enough, I go on holiday. That's the outcome, the result of suggesting a holiday to myself, of thinking about it and then making a positive decision.

This meditation uses these techniques to develop good qualities we already have and introduce new wholesome qualities. Once I feel established in these qualities, I can easily share them with others. We are all too familiar with the negative side. If I'm depressed, for instance, and I go out with some friends, it isn't long before everyone whishes I hadn't come. I make everyone miserable. Depression is catching!

I'm sure you have experienced walking into a room where there has been an argument and felt the 'atmosphere'. But in this meditation we try to develop quite the opposite states of mind --- friendliness, compassion, joy and peacefulness. It is these we try to share with others and this is called the Sharing of Merit. Here is a simple formula, but once you feel you understand it, you can add to it or make up your own if you wish.

Before we send out wholesome qualities to other beings, we have to develop them in ourselves, so we should given metta to ourselves

Firstly, therefore, one should give Metta to oneself:-

May I be free from anger and hatred.
May I be free from greed and selfishness.
May I be free from fears and anxiety.
May I be free from all pain and suffering.
May I be free from ignorance and delusion.
May I be free from all negative states of mind.
May I be happy and peaceful.
May I be liberated from bondages.
May I experience Nibbanic peace within.

Then practise metta towards all beings sharing peace and happiness:-

May all beings free from anger and hatred.
May all beings free from greed and selfishness.
May all beings free from fears and anxiety.
May all beings free from all pain and suffering.
May all beings free from ignorance and delusion.
May all beings free from all negative states of mind.
May all beings be happy and peaceful.
May all beings liberated from bondages.
May all beings live in Peace and Harmony.
May alI beings experience the Nibbanic peace within.

After this, we can bring to mind family, friends, teachers and others and offer them goodwill in the same way. We can even bring to mind people we dislike or who dislikes us and offer them at least an attitude of 'no harm'.

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Writen by Buddhababy. Designed & Edited by Sol © Mystic Familiar 2004

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