by Nicole Rossi
Let’s take a few minutes to send some goodness and love out into the world. Loving-kindness meditation, also known as ‘Metta’ meditation, is the simple practice of directing positive thoughts and well-wishes towards ourselves and others. I learned it over thirty years ago when I was living as a Buddhist nun in a monastery in Burma. It’s traditionally practiced by saying the phrases a few times directed towards yourself first, then a loved one, next a neutral person, enemy, and finally all beings.
Metta meditation was taught by the Buddha over 2500 years ago and scientific research today suggests that it has many benefits which include increasing a sense of well-being, providing relief from both mental and physical illness and improving empathy and emotional intelligence.
Anyone can practice it anytime/anywhere for as long as you like. You can sit in meditation or do it mindfully in action. I often say the metta phrases while waiting in line or doing the dishes. My children and I used to do metta meditation as part of our bedtime ritual and one day my three-year-old daughter sweetly asked, “Mommy, why do we want the beans to be so happy?” We still laugh about how she had inadvertently been sending metta to ‘beans’ for months when she mistakenly used the word ‘beans’ for ‘beings’! Needless to say, we gave her credit for the bountiful harvest of beans our garden gave us that year!
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be healthy and strong.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be peaceful and at ease.
You can use the above phrases or create your own that are meaningful for you and your children. You should sit comfortably with your eyes closed while practicing Metta.
For younger children, or to keep things simple, you can repeat the phrases you choose aloud and direct them towards everyone universally for a few minutes: “May all beings be happy,” etc.
For older children and/or adults, you may silently recite the Metta phrases mentally:
1. Start by saying the phrases directed towards yourself: “May I be happy,” etc.
2. Then, visualize and direct the phrases towards a loved one or someone you feel grateful for: “May you be happy,” etc.
3. Next, visualize someone you feel neutral about – such as a clerk at the grocery store or the mail man – and repeat the phrases towards them: “May you be happy,” etc.
4. Follow this by visualizing someone you don’t like or who you are having difficulty with
and send Metta to them: “May you be happy,” etc.
5. Finally, direct your loving-kindness towards all beings everywhere: “May all beings be
Just take a few moments out today, close your eyes, and repeat the metta phrases to help bring more love and light to the eight billion people on this beautiful earth. You can do this practice for a few minutes or as long as you like. Sending so much love and blessings to you all! 😍🙏🏻❤️ May you be well and happy always!