Home » May is for Metta » Day 30 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Love Meditation

Day 30 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Love Meditation

“Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain.” 

― Thich Nhat Hanh

We are nearing the end of our official practice for this year.  I wanted to share a teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh today as a way to deepen into the foundation of our Metta practice as well as offer another way to work with the Metta phrases.  As we have explored there are many ways to practice and part of the intention of this time was to create a space for you to begin to explore and develop your own method of meditation practice.

As Thich Nhat Hath touches on in the opening quote, cultivating love is not just about intention or creating good feelings.  It increases our capacity to be present with suffering, our own and others; and to embrace difficulties and pain.  There is a lot pain in the world today!

 Right now in the midst of our current world crisis, faced with illness and death, isolation, and with our systems struggling or perhaps even dismantling in some ways, many people are seeing and experiencing even more suffering than before.  This time is opening us to many of the inequities in our societies and communities.  Both our individual and collective pain is heightened and continues to rise to the surface.  We may feel powerless or feel called to act but don’t know what to do or how we can help.

This is a time to delve into our practice of lovingkindness.  It’s not to try to escape or avoid acting outwardly or to simply feel good.  Rather, it is to allow us to be present to the pain and suffering around us and within us; to become more able to respond to all of it with openheartedness and compassion.  From this foundation, we have the capacity of offer even greater support and care to ourselves, others and our world.  It is from here that we can choose how to respond with clarity and intention. 

So I invite you to explore this special practice today!  Thich Nhat Hanh refers to this Metta practice as Love Meditation, which is the essence of what it’s all about!

Daily Practice:

As shared by Thich Nhat Hanh:  “This love meditation is adapted from the Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa, a 5th century C.E. version of the Buddha’s teaching.  We begin by practicing the love meditation on ourselves (“May I”).  Until we are able to love and take care of ourselves, we cannot be much help to others.

May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.”

After that, we extend the practice onto others (“May he/she/they”) – first on someone we like, then on someone neutral to us, and finally on someone who makes us suffer. 

May he/she/they be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May he/she/they be safe and free from injury.
May he/she/they be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

May he/she/they learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.
May he/she/they be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May he/she/they learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.

May he/she/they know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May he/she/they be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May he/she/they be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.”

When you feel complete take some time to dedicate the merit or positive energy of your practice sending it wherever you feel it needs to go in the world today, considering particular people or places, lastly and for all beings without exception. You may wish to offer this special love meditation for all being…

May all beings be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May all beings be safe and free from injury.
May all beings be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

May all beings learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.
May all beings be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May all beings learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.

May all beings know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May all beings be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May all beings be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.”

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.  

  • Did you explore working with Thich Naht Hanh’s suggested Love Meditation?  
  • How was it to explore Metta in a different way?
  • What did you notice?
  • Is this something you might like to continue to explore?
  • Are you feeling you will continue with Metta exploration or practice after May 31st?
  • What might that look like?

May you be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.

Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!).

Beth Shekinah

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