GUIDED METTA MEDITATION
Every evening after the chanting we develop mindfulness of love through a guided loving-kindness meditation. Metta or the intention of goodwill, is generated and radiated from our hearts towards ourselves, our parents and teachers, our family and friends, and difficult people in our lives. The meditation proceeds to then expand to include everyone on the retreat, different beings in the area, and culminates in the sincere wish for all beings to be happy and well. Short teachings on self-acceptance, gratitude, empathy and forgiveness are given during the meditation. Several other reflections including the original loving-kindness teaching – Karanıya Metta Sutta – and the teaching on Auspicious Blessings – Mangala Sutta are also read and contemplated during the session.
Let’s practice loving-kindness meditation together:
- Please sit in a comfortable position. Gently close your eyes.
- Relax your head and your face. Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Relax your chest and stomach. Relax your back and buttocks.
- Relax your arms, hands and fingers. Relax your legs, feet and toes.
- Relax the whole body. Quiet, calm and still the whole body.
- Release your mind from all thoughts and emotions.
- Be in the present moment. Let go of the past, and future.
- Continuously hold your awareness inside the body.
Take several in-and-out breaths keeping awareness present and internalised.
Allow the breath sensations to flow throughout the body – expanding and contracting.
Experience the breath sensations filling and suffusing the whole body as it sits there.
Imagine the sun shining brightly high in the sky. Its rays of energy, light and warmth radiating towards all living beings – to people of all nationalities, all races and religions, and to all regions of the world – without preference or prejudice.
Bring the light, warmth and energy of the shining sun into yourself. Establish your awareness in the centre of the body – at the heart base. Feel the warmth and softness in your heart, shining and filling the whole body, the head, arms and legs.
Know this feeling as loving-kindness. The beautiful intention of goodwill.
Slowly repeat these words keeping awareness at the heart:
1 > an image of ourselves:
May you be happy and well.
May you be safe and warm.
May you be far away from troubles and dangers
May you not be parted from the good fortune you have attained.
May you be free from suffering.
May you live happily in peace.
Slowly repeat these words to the following groups of beings:
1 > an image of your parents or teachers
2 > an image of a loved one – partners, children, friends
3 > an image of a difficult person
4 > an image of everyone in the meditation hall
1 > Now imagine all beings in all directions
Direct metta awareness: 1. infront 2. behind 3. left 4. right 5. above 6. below.
As you breathe-in generate metta: ‘May all beings be happy’
As you breathe-out radiate metta: ‘May all beings be free from suffering’