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The mettā bhāvanā (“cultivation of mettā“) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism.

From WikiPedia:

The object of mettā meditation is loving kindness (love without attachment). Traditionally, the practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving kindness towards themselves, then their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. Commonly, it can be used as a greeting or closing to a letter or note.

Buddhists believe that those who cultivate mettā will be at ease because they see no need to harbour ill will or hostility.  It is generally felt that those around a mettā-full person will feel more comfortable and happy too. Radiating mettā is thought to contribute to a world of love, peace and happiness.

Mettā signifies friendship and non-violence as well as “a strong wish for the happiness of others”, but also less obvious or direct qualities such as showing patience, receptivity, and appreciation. Though it refers to many seemingly disparate ideas, Mettā is in fact a very specific form of love – a caring for another independent of all self-interest – and thus is likened to one’s love for one’s child or parent. Understandably, this energy is often difficult to describe in words; however, in the practice of Mettā meditation, one recites specific words and phrases in order to evoke this “boundless warm-hearted feeling.” The strength of this feeling is not limited to or by family, religion, or social class. Indeed, Mettā is a tool that permits one’s generosity and kindness to be applied to all beings and, as a consequence, one finds true happiness in another person’s happiness, no matter who the individual is.

Download audio of this guided meditation, narrated by Jack Kornfield.
(Distributed here for nonprofit/educational purposes only.)

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