Mettā Bhāvanā – Meditation on Loving Kindness
Mettā is friendliness. The meditation on mettā is, spreading thoughts of loving kindness to oneself and everyone else, in the manner the Supreme Buddha taught us. Loving kindness is not just a thought, it is actually a feeling towards others. One who is friendly, one who spreads thoughts of loving kindness, does not harm oneself or anyone else. By practicing mettā meditation, gradually, one develops the mind to give up thoughts of anger and hatred. The loving kindness mediation brings peace and happiness here in this very life and in the next life as well.
You can practice mettā meditation anytime, anywhere, despite the busy schedule. You can spread the thoughts of loving kindness focusing an individual, a group or all living beings. For example, at home, while preparing a meal, you may spread the thoughts of loving kindness to your spouse or a child, or towards those who enjoy the meal. You may prepare food with a happy mind thinking, “may those who eat this food be happy, well and peaceful”. While cleaning the house or washrooms, or doing laundry, you may spread the thoughts of loving kindness, thinking “may those who use this house/ washrooms/ clothes be happy, well and peaceful”. At the workplace, you may spread the thoughts of loving kindness towards a co-worker or someone one who irritates you, or towards everyone in the office, thinking “may this person /these co-workers be happy, well and peaceful”. At a meeting, or at a public place, you may spread the thoughts of loving kindness towards someone grumpy. When driving, it is easy to get irritated because of the other drivers on the road. Instead of developing thoughts of anger, you may spread the thoughts of loving kindness, thinking “may these drivers be happy, well and peaceful”. In each of these situations, practicing loving kindness brings peace and calmness to you, immediately.