Mettā, The Art of Cultivating Compassionate Love

The Buddhist traditional meditation is a heart-warming practice for the Self, Others and the World. 

This type of meditation helps ease the mind and connect with the heart by bringing awareness to emotions like fear, anger, anxiety and worry and transforming them through compassion and kind love.

There are between two to four stages to this form: the decision to cultivate metta for oneself, a good friend, someone or something that the person feels has done some “wrong” and ultimately, the desire of well-being and happiness to all beings.

Mettā can take up to 5 minutes to 1 hour depending on the intention and availability of time and it starts with consciously repeating the following phrase: 

“May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease”. 

In each stage of the meditation, the person is asked to perceive the emotions that it arouses in the body by saying these words and releasing possible tensions, with breathing techniques. 

The development of positive emotions takes time and commitment. 

By regularly cultivating Mettā, a person may experience benefits such as: increasing self-love and self-compassion; releasing feelings of unworthiness and inner judgement; reducing anxiety, pain and stress levels; and eventually improving social relationships. 

It is important to highlight that the practitioner could experience “negative emotions” like grief, discomfort and sadness as the heart may be revealing what was held inside for long periods of time.

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