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Episode 180 - Practicing Kindness Toward Ourselves

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 09/23/2023

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More Episodes

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a fundamental practice in Buddhism that cultivates feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. The word "Metta" is a Pali term that translates to "loving-kindness" or "benevolence."

In this meditation, practitioners typically sit in a comfortable position and focus on generating feelings of love and kindness. The practice involves silently repeating phrases or affirmations that express well-wishes, such as "May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you live with ease."

 

The meditation progresses through stages, starting with sending loving-kindness to oneself, then extending it to loved ones, people we're neutral toward, and then to those we feel aversion or anger toward. The ultimate aim is to cultivate a boundless, unconditional love for all sentient beings. It also fosters a sense of interconnectedness and reduces emotions like anger and indifference.

 

Metta meditation is considered a powerful tool for developing compassion, empathy, and universal love and compassion. It is practiced in various forms across different Buddhist traditions. People from diverse backgrounds also use Metta meditation for its universal message of love and goodwill. 

 

In this episode, we practice only the first round of the metta mediation, practicing loving-kindness toward ourselves:

 

May I be well

May I be happy 

May I be peaceful



Whoever is 

Seated, absorbed in meditation, 

Done what had to be done, 

Free of contaminants, 

Who has reached the highest goal, 

I call a brahmin. (386)

—Buddha, The Dhammapada

—Buddha, The Dhammapada.

References and Links

 

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 78 (Link)

 

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