Loving kindness or Metta meditation is a form of showing love towards ourselves and others. It is tied in with self-love empathy, understanding and kindness. Metta is a Pali word for benevolence, friendship affection and kindness. The meditation usually starts with the self, as the Buddha said “unless we treat ourselves with love and compassion we cannot reflect the same on others”.
Start by finding a comfortable position where you can sit without being disturbed. Gently close your eyes and notice your breathing, not trying to control or change it in any way, just observing the natural flow of your breath in your body. Bring your attention to yourself, you might imagine yourself bathed in loving light. Repeat the words to yourself in your head “May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be free from suffering. May I be well. May I be at peace. May I be joyful”. Take a moment to think about these words, what they mean to you and how they make you feel. When you feel ready think about someone close to you who you care deeply about, imagine them bathed in that same loving light and thinking of that person repeat in your head “May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be free from suffering. May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be joyful”. Again take a moment to contemplate the words and how you feel sending this wish to your loved one. Finish by considering every being in the world and repeat “May all beings be filled with loving kindness. May all beings be free from suffering. May all beings be well. May all beings be at peace. May all beings be joyful” and contemplate how you feel sending this wish out into the universe. Whenever you feel ready bring awareness back to your breathing, wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes. Bring the feeling of loving kindness towards yourself and others into the rest of your day.