“Loving-kindness meditation accords with zen’s Bodhisattva vow, in confirming that our awakening is mutually grounded in the interdependence of all beings, rather than being a self-centered endeavor. Loving-kindness is sometimes misconstrued as an attempt to conjure up good feelings, or to see ourselves as loving or kind. However, its function is to invite the awakening of compassion and empathy, aspects of our being.”
Today, we will continue our practice of Metta for Neutral beings. As the neutral person is not so “real’ to us, it is often harder to elicit feelings for this person. For this reason, it can be helpful to work with the same neutral person for a few days. Sometimes, people feel bored with this category, as there is not as much emotional charge as with a friend or enemy. It may be harder to hold one’s attention on the neutral person.
Staying attentive can be a challenge in Metta as well as during meditation practice in general. However, we are working to focus our awareness. This practice offers a wonderful opportunity to stay present with our experience, bringing our attention and consciousness to a place where we may often be inattentive and unconscious.
Choose two or three Neutral beings to work with today. You may do this as part of a sitting practice and/or explore using Metta when you are out and about in the world. Generally, we may choose someone we see when we are on the street, in the store, or at the gym. This year that may be harder so be creative. Maybe there is someone you see walking by your house or making a delivery. We may also want to offer Metta for someone we see on social media or in a virtual gathering whom we don’t really know. A few years ago, one of our participants shared about offering Metta to the other drivers she passed them on the road and noticed that she felt more peaceful and less frustrated during her commute.
This practice is an opportunity to offer loving-kindness and support to someone without needing to take outward action. It is an inner offering and it is a way we can bring more loving-kindness and compassion into the world. And, it is a way we can shift our own experience from negative to positive, from judgement to acceptance and from frustration to inner peace. That’s something we all need in our current times!
Do your foundational practices. Begin to cultivate loving-kindness for yourself by connecting with your heart or imagining yourself in your circle of loving beings. Offer Metta to yourself by using the phrases you have been working with:
- May I be happy.
- May I be peaceful.
- May I be free of suffering.
- May I have ease of well-being.
When you feel immersed in the energy of loving-kindness for yourself, bring the image of a Neutral person into your awareness. Once you have called this person to mind, allow yourself to make a heart connection with this person. Perhaps send some of the loving-kindness you have cultivated from your heart to their heart center. Notice how it feels to offer loving-kindness to a Neutral being. Say inwardly, “Just as I wish to be happy and free from suffering, may you be happy and free from suffering.” Then, begin repeating the phrases for this Neutral person:
- May you be happy.
- May you be peaceful.
- May you be free of suffering.
- May you have ease of well-being.
Notice what arises as you practice. If at any point you find that your mind wanders or difficult thoughts arise, you can return to the next round of phrases or if needed to your foundational practices. bring your awareness back to the neutral person and continue repeating the phrases. When you are ready, continue on to one or two other Neutral beings.
Practice as long as you feel to or have committed to for today. When you feel complete, return to your heart center. Spend a few moments reflecting on your practice. Notice how it felt to connect with Neutral beings. Part of our practice is experiencing the relationship that we have with all beings; this is part of being human, being alive and living on Earth at this time. We share a common experience whether we know each other or not. Metta offers an opportunity to acknowledge and honor our interconnectedness with all beings on a deeper and more conscious level.
Remember you can also take your practice with if you are going out for a walk or to the store and offer Metta to someone you see along the way.
Daily Journal Reflection:
Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.
- How has it been to practice Metta for Neutral beings?
- Did you practice for someone as you went about your day?
- Are you continuing to be gentle and loving with yourself?
- Have you noticed any difference in your sense of connection to self, others and the world since you began your Metta practice?
- What are you noticing about practicing lovingkindness for yourself and for others?
May you have a joyful day.
Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!)
- May Is For Metta Page
- Introducing To May Is For Metta! Daily Posts Start Tomorrow!
- Exploring Metta Meditation
- Apple Podcast Carving A New Path Interview on May Is For Metta
- Youtube Carving A New Path Interview on May Is For Metta
- Day 1 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Our Journey of Lovingkindness Begins
- Day 2 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Circle of Loving Being
- Day 3 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Lovingkindness for Ourselves
- Day 4 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Offering Lovingkindness to Ourselves
- May Is For Metta 2020 Introduction & Foundational Practice Video
- May Is For Metta 2020 Introduction & Foundational Practice Audio
- Day 5 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Strengthening Our Foundational Practice
- Day 6 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Expanding Lovingkindness & Compassion in Ourselves
- Day 7 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Offering Lovingkindness to a Benefactor
- Soundcloud Audio Introduction & Guided Metta for Benefactor
- Day 8 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Lovingkindness for a Benefactor
- Day 9 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Offering Lovingkindness to a Beloved
- Soundcloud Audio Introduction & Guided Metta for a Beloved
- Day 10 ~ Mother’s Day Metta Exploration
- Soundcloud Audio ~ Mother’s Day Metta Introduction & Guided Meditation
- Day 11 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Offering Lovingkindness to a Neutral Being