Posted by on Aug 2, 2010 in prayers, Spirituality | 1 comment

A few people have asked me lately about metta, also known in some circles as maitri.   Metta is a practice of loving kindness toward self and others.  There are volumes written about metta, it is a basic Buddhist practice in all traditions.  Pema Chodron is a well known teacher of this practice and has written many books on the subject.

The basic practice is to first practice loving kindness toward the self, to truly make friends with yourself.   When you find peace within, you can more readily practice it toward others.  The Judeo-Christian version of this is “to love your neighbor as yourself.”   It is truly a practice to be gentle and kind with yourself,  practicing this with a boundless, open heart.   It requires finding the balance between healthy and unhealthy cravings, understanding healthy desires and boundaries,  then putting them into practice with self and others.

A strong suggestion~~don’t start this with someone with whom you have a lot of negative energy or anger.  Don’t start with someone who hurt you.  Start with yourself and if that is just too hard, take gentle note of that.  Then visualize those you find it easy to love and let your body and mind relax into that.  Imagine them with you, feel the love, feel the smile, feel the way you expand and open in that love.  Include yourself in the way that feels, and invite the fear and anxiety into that circle of love.

If you have a tradition that is helpful to you, imagine that…if it is Christian, then see the love in the eyes of Jesus, feel Him look at you and melt away the fear.  If it is another tradition or there is an icon or certain image that speaks to you, allow it to fill you and feed you.  Hold yourself as gently and patiently as you would a small, frightened child.  Be kind to yourself.  Allow this to take as long as it takes, even if it takes years or lifetimes.  I cannot think of a kinder, more gentle prayer practice in any tradition than this practice.  It truly is about being the body of Christ, or getting in touch with your Buddha nature.  It is about practicing peace and allowing that to radiate out into your life, into the lives of those whom you love.

So many people have asked me about this lately I wanted to at least post the basic metta practice chant.  The practice is simple, although not always easy 😉     Give yourself some time to practice this, don’t expect yourself to master this in the immediate western way.  Simply allow the practice to transform you.  It might be helpful to find a teacher, or listen to Pema Chodron, to find a local dharma center or practice group, or even read more about this if you find it resonates with you.  If you google “metta chant,” you will find a number of audio files, youtube videos, etc.    Feel free to contact me directly or post a question or comment if you want more info.

Metta Chant

May I be free from anger and hatred.

May I be free from greed and selfishness.

May I be free from fears and anxiety.

May I be free from all pain and suffering.

May I be free from ignorance and delusion.

May I be free from all negative states of mind.

May I be happy and peaceful.

May I be liberated from bondages.

May I experience peace and tranquility within.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from anger and hatred.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from greed and selfishness.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from fears and anxiety.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from all pain and suffering.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from ignorance and delusion.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be free from all negative states of mind.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be happy and peaceful.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me be liberated from bondages.

May those whom I love, those whom I like, those who have angered or done harm to me experience peace and tranquility within.

May all beings be free from anger and hatred.

May all beings be free from greed and selfishness.

May all beings be free from fears and anxiety.

May all beings be free from all pain and suffering.

May all beings be free from ignorance and delusion.

May all beings be free from all negative states of mind.

May all beings be happy and peaceful.

May all beings be liberated from bondages.

May all beings experience peace and tranquility within.

Peace and blessings,

T

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One Comment

  1. 8-24-2010

    Love love love this blog! Your insights are beautiful and easy to integrate. Thank you!

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