BLOOM Mindfulness Blog | Metta Meditation – Bloom Mindfulness

Loving Kindness Self-Guided Meditation aka Metta Meditation

loving kindness meditation, metta meditation, mindfulness meditation

A couple months ago I found myself googling “how to be mindful when there is someone toxic in your life” and “buddhism approach to toxic people”. Of course, the easiest answer is to remove that person from your life, but what happens when you can’t? Or at least can’t without having to remove others that you love with them?


Most of the Internet’s answers didn’t help me. Then I happened upon a Reddit thread in a Buddhism subpage that mentioned Loving Kindness meditations. I was a bit embarrassed I didn’t think of this myself because I had done this meditation before.


The thing about Loving Kindness, or metta meditatiations is that you are consciously trying to see the best in that person and send them all of your love, even if they kinda suck and drain your energy. My past experience with metta meditations were when my life was a little more carefree and that’s why I don’t think I identified with the format on a deep level. But feeling the low vibes and weight of a toxic person swirling around me really made me connect with it this time around.

Here's how to structure a Metta (Loving Kindness) Meditation:

    1. Sit quietly and center yourself by taking a few breaths
    2. Choose your 3-4 wishes you will be sending during your practice (i.e. “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May your heart be filled with loving kindness.”)
    3. Send your wishes to each person individually: yourself, someone you love, someone neutral, someone you are struggling with and all people.

If you haven’t done a loving kindness meditation before, don't worry, you don't even need a guide for this type of meditation. I will break it down fully for you so you can do this on your own whenever you need it.

Start by getting centered with a few breaths and envisioning yourself, as you are in that moment, and send these wishes to yourself. Really feel the loving kindness throughout your body. Next, you pick a few wishes to send (for example: happiness, health, peace, joy) and put them into a affirmation-like sentence: “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May your heart be filled with loving kindness.” Repeat each series of wishes to: yourself, someone you love, someone who is neutral (someone you pass on the street, checkout person you see often), someone who you are having issues with, and finally, every human.

When you’re ready to meditate, use this template.

So it looks a little something like this:

Sit quietly and take a few breathes to get in the right headspace.

(Envision yourself) May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease.

*Breathe for a few moments and imagine yourself inhaling loving kindness and sending it throughout your entire body*

(Envision someone you love) May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease.

*Breathe for a few moments and imagine yourself inhaling loving kindness and sending it to the person you love*

(Envision someone neutral) May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease.

*Breathe for a few moments and imagine yourself inhaling loving kindness and sending it to the neutral person*

(Envision someone with whom you struggle) May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease.

*Breathe for a few moments and imagine yourself inhaling loving kindness and sending it to the person you struggle with*

(Envision all people) May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease.

*Breathe for a few moments and imagine yourself inhaling loving kindness and sending it to all people*

 

If you’re not feeling super creative, or prefer to have someone guide you, I recommend this Loving Kindness meditation by Penny McGahey in the Insight Timer app. It’s simple and only about 15 minutes.


I started doing a loving kindness meditation daily each morning and I set out to keep doing them until I could move the person I was struggling with to the “envision someone you love” section. Don’t underestimate how difficult this is. It took me a couple months of this to finally do it. Don’t cheat it either! You will be so grateful if you put in the honest effort.


Over time, I was able to start seeing this person and the pain he/she is living with everyday. Once you truly start to understand someone, it’s hard to be upset with them. Instead, you start to feel for them. To honestly hope they find peace.


Enjoy!

 





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