– Loving-Kindness Practice –
What is metta – or loving-kindness – meditation? It is a concentration practice where you focus on the feeling of loving-kindness – or friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, etc. – for extended lengths of time.
In contrast to mindfulness meditation, then, where we sit in open awareness not concentrated on any particular thing, in formal metta practice, our goal is very narrow and directed: we try to spark the feeling of loving-kindness and to hold onto it, let it grow, and make it as vivid as possible for as long as we can.
I think you’ll find this beneficial in a few ways. First, if you make it a habit through practice, you’ll find that loving-kindness will increasingly become your natural state of mind, which I think you’ll discover is a good thing. And, second, I think you’ll find that by practicing in this way, your concentration will increase, which will increase your capacity for mindfulness, which will increase your capacity for wisdom. And so your life will spiral upward.
Metta meditation, however, is not just a concentration exercise. It is a practice that will help you know and feel that you are connected to everyone and everything. It is a practice that will push outward on every wall of your being, continuing to expand you without limit. It is a way of life.
Out of every Space of Possibility I’ve explored, I have found none so light, soft, and smooth, none so tranquil and stable, none so vast and expansive, and none so freely accessible as the space of metta – of loving-kindness, of unconditional love.
Try metta meditation for yourself but, the more you cultivate the feeling of loving-kindness, the more I think you’ll find that love is not so much something you feel but that it is what you are.
1. What is Metta?
3. Sympathetic Joy
5. Love Your Self
6. Love Unbounded
“Understanding is what I seek.
Compassion is what I do.
And Love is what I am.”