Are you familiar with the Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation? The Metta is a heartfelt wish for our own well-being and the well-being of others. It is said in ever-widening circles. We start first by saying it for ourselves. This is my version:
May I be filled with kindness for my heart.
May I be well in body and mind, and safe from inner and outer danger.
May I be happy, peaceful, and free.
We start with ourselves to cultivate our own sanctuary where kindness, well-being, safety, happiness, peace, and freedom can thrive.
When we rest in the kindness we give to ourselves it’s natural that we’d want to offer it to others too. We can say the Metta for those we love, for those we’ve just met, and for people along the way: walking downtown, at the grocery store, on the bus—anywhere. It’s a nice practice to say when we’re waiting.
May you be filled with kindness for your heart…
In the practice of Metta, we offer it to those with whom we have difficulties. In the spirit of inclusivity, this includes everyone we have problems with. (Yes, my dears, everyone—particularly those we’re angry with.) This part was very challenging for me—until I realized that if these needs were met our relationship wouldn’t be so difficult.
Finally, we conclude by saying the Metta for all beings, everyone.
May all beings be filled with kindness for their hearts…
As you can see the Metta is a way of caring for ourselves and others even if the situations we’re in are difficult. If we notice the difficulty we can find spaciousness and some ease by reciting the Metta.
One way we can use the Metta is to strengthen our NVC practice. When we say the Metta, we can also create an intention that we might through our own thinking, words, and actions aid in making this wish come true; for example, that by my own actions you might find greater well-being. Not because I’ve done a particular something special but because when I am mindful of practicing NVC my words and actions are more likely to meet your needs for ease, happiness, and peace. It is very sweet to know that I can help make these wishes come true.