My Metta Meditation for the World

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  • Bob Tenbarge (Meditation Magazine MTT-200 Graduate)

    Everywhere around the world, we see divides among people, socially, economically and racially.

    We hear of religious and ethnic groups at risk of being eliminated. Poor countries can’t afford vaccines and are in danger of starving. We see books being banned, even in our own country, the land of free speech. Our news and social media instill fear, panic and beliefs in us (whether they are true or not).

    You would be led to believe that all this division is something new, but unfortunately, this is not a new issue. This has been happening for thousands of years.

    Growing up in a small midwestern town, I witnessed racial riots in the 1960s. I was told that the other people were wrong. I found out that the African American population in our town was banned from our Central Library until 1968, the same year our city council was forced by the U.S. Government to pass the open housing law. Before that, African Americans could only live on the south side of Division Street (that’s literally the street’s name). I went to an all white school; when I graduated in the ‘70s, there was only 1 African American out of 680 students. 

    This divide was accepted and ingrained in us for our whole lives. It has been going on forever, not just now. 

    Metta meditation is a great way to share love and compassion with ourselves and others, with the hope that we can accept others for who they are, no matter what we may have thought or felt about them in the past.

    When we open our hearts with equanimity, we are able to see others without judgment or reaction, and thereby respond to them in a healthier way. Instead of pitying or “feeling sorry” for people who are suffering, we approach them with real love, empathy, compassion, and loving-kindness.

    Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.”

    Below you will find my take on the traditional Buddhist Metta (Loving-Kindness) Meditation. 

    Metta Meditation is designed to help open your heart to empathy, compassion, and loving-kindness, toward yourself and others.

    We will start by sending love to ourselves.

    Then we will send love to a “loved one.”

    Then we will move into some more difficult practices: sending love to a random acquaintance, and sending love to a person with whom you are in conflict, annoyance, or hate.

    Finally, we will send out love to everyone in the world.

    I recommend choosing your loved one, random acquaintance, and your person of conflict, before you start the meditation.

    SENDING LOVE TO YOURSELF

    May I be safe here.
    May I be happy.
    May I be able to share in the joy and happiness of others.
    May I be healthy, free from disease and injury.
    May I find ease and well-being in life.

    SENDING LOVE TO YOUR LOVED ONE

    May (name) be safe, wherever they are.
    May (name) be happy.
    May (name) be able to share in the joy and happiness of others.
    May (name) be healthy, free from disease and injury.
    May (name) find ease and well-being in life.

    SENDING LOVE TO YOUR RANDOM ACQUAINTANCE

    May (name) be safe, wherever they are.
    May (name) be happy.
    May (name) be able to share in the joy and happiness of others.
    May (name) be healthy, free from disease and injury.
    May (name) find ease and well-being in life.

    SENDING LOVE TO YOUR PERSON OF CONFLICT
    May (name) be safe, wherever they are.
    May (name) be happy.
    May (name) be able to share in the joy and happiness of others.
    May (name) be healthy, free from disease and injury.
    May (name) find ease and well-being in life.

    SENDING LOVE TO EVERYONE IN THE WORLD
    May everyone be safe from prejudice.
    May everyone be safe from hunger.
    May everyone be safe from the elements.
    May everyone be happy.
    May everyone share in the joy and happiness of others.
    May everyone receive what they need to stay healthy and disease free.
    May everyone find ease and well-being in life.

    Depending on the time you have to meditate, you can repeat each phrase, or each person, several times. Repeating a phrase three times can bring truth to your words.
    I hope you enjoyed this Metta Meditation practice.

    Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,
    Peace and Love,
    Bob.

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    Kevin
    Kevin
    8 months ago

    Donkey Kong is known for throwing barrels at the player character in the game.