Metta Meditation Will Make You a Better Person
Many may think meditation is simply a means to turn the amp down on mental chatter and up the volume of inner silence. While this is of course true, it is only one merit of meditation. Once you begin developing and deepening your own practice you start seeing how meditation makes you a better, kinder and more generous person.
These past two years I’ve been fortunate enough to dwell on the slow and soulful island of Sri Lanka, practising yoga and taking myself off to annual meditation camps. My retreat of choice is Nilambe Bhuddist Meditation Centre in the rolling tea-lined hills of Kandy. It was here that I first learnt the art of Metta Meditation.
Metta is a Pali word which loosely translates to “loving kindness”. In fact there isn’t an English word befitting of the all encompassing compassion that is Metta. This practice as taught by Buddha, is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness for all sentient beings, beginning with ourselves and radiating outwards to everyone and thing in the world. Metta is not discoloured by racial discrimination, it knows no cultural divides and sees no difference between a beloved family member and stranger on the street. Nor does it differentiate between people, plants and animals.
“Through Metta one refuses to be offensive and renounces bitterness, resentment and animosity of every kind, developing instead a mind of friendliness, accommodativeness and benevolence which seeks the well-being and happiness of others” – Access To Insight
Metta is often likened to the unconditional love a mother feels for her child. It is patient, it is understanding, it is entirely devoid of selfishness and giving only with the expectancy of receiving. It’s sadly undeniable that our so-called “advanced human culture” is positioned primitively on foundations of self-interest and survival of the fittest. But these foundations are fast crumbling as more and more of us are waking up to our true human spirits. The time is long overdue to create a new world, one built on benevolence and the recognition that we are all in fact one and the same, and what we do to one we do to the whole.
“To promote one’s own interest is a primordial motivation of human nature. When this urge is transformed into the desire to promote the interest and happiness of others, not only is the basic urge of self-seeking overcome, but the mind becomes universal by identifying its own interest with the interest of all.” – Access To Insight
It is only when, as a human race, we start seeing the interconnection between all beings on earth and to really understand the sentiment “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” will we be able to progress, bringing real, long lasting sustainable equality. And this, to me is the hallmark of an advanced species.
To open your heart to yourself and others, so that you can truly give fully and freely, listen to this quick guided Metta Meditation audio.
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