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Loving and kindness meditation

Loving and kindness meditation (LKM) is also known as “Metta Bhawana”. This is the first of the Four Brahma (Universal consciousness) Vihara practices taught by Buddha to cultivate good feelings and emotions and eradicate negativity.  The Four Brahma Vihara the four celestial dwellings or the four immeasurables) are:

  • Metta (loving-kindness)
  • Karuna (compassion)
  • Mudita (appreciative joy)
  • Uppekha (equanimity)

Metta (Sanskrit- Maitreya) is also a Hindu practice as well that develops goodwill and global friendliness towards oneself and others. LKM aims to develop loving-kindness towards oneself and others in a ranked method to comprise all living beings ultimately, both visible and invisible, across the universe.  Metta is also interpreted as “universal friendliness” to accentuate the objective nature of the affection generated, without expectation of return or free from any desire.

Some guidance on how to practice LKM.

Posture is all important when learning how to meditate. The most important thing is to be comfortable. Sitting with a straight back in a chair or on the floor is usually advised. When you’ve decided on your posture, do a quick scan of your body to detect areas of tension, such as tight shoulders. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Scan your body again to ensure you’re relaxed but alert.

Loving-kindness meditation- Technique 1

  • Sit down in a comfortable pose. Fill your body with positive emotions and goodwill.
  • Steadily concentrate on words, “May I be well, happy and peaceful”, as you experience the comforting warmth of kindness enveloping your body.
  • Convey to your friend these emotions- “May you be well, content, and at peace. “May you be well, content, and at ease.
  • Have a natural breath as this vibration connects you, heart to heart. “May I be good, content, and at peace”. May you be good, content, and at peace”. While mentally repeating these words for two minutes, feel yourself covered in the warmth and brightness of loving-kindness.
  • Feel the bathing in the in peace and warmth of meditation that
  • The light is bathing you in the warmth and peace of loving-kindness that your surrounds are radiated outwards by you.
  • Encompassing all beings in the cosmos, from the tiniest insect to the biggest beast- see you and your companion are beaming love-kindness light into the infinite horizon. May we all be good, content, and peaceful. May everyone, wherever, live happily and in harmony.
  • Recite this mentally for about three minutes in natural and conscious breath.
  • After this, savor the sensations of warmth and expansion throughout your body. Acknowledge the emotions that emanate from your core and spread throughout the cosmom. Also the kindness that is present everywhere in your heart.
  • Mentally recite for about 1.5 minutes- “May we be good, happy and at peace. May everyone and everything be well, joyful, and peaceful.
  • Focus on your body and pay attention to your sensations and feelings as you continue to feel the warmth of loving-kindness.
  • Take note of “WHAT” is watching your body and become conscious of that awareness- a calm, still aspect of yourself that observes everythin without passing judgement. Breath in a natural way.
  • Finally gradually open your eyes.

Loving-kindness meditation- Technique 2

According to legend, the Buddha imparted the advantages of Metta meditation to monks who were struggling to focus while meditating in the forest due to disruptions purportedly created by earth devas and tree spirit. (Buddharakkhita, 2013). It helped people to conquer their fear while meditating by alone in the jungle, vulnerable to several threats.

For instance, most of us know of how being scared or nervous might increase your risk of injury when you travel alone a long way from home. When targeting a victim, those with malicious intent search for signs of vulnerability.

May I/ you be well, strong, content, light, calm, and safe.

Close your eyes and keep your back straight while you concentrate on the heart. If it would help, you can also put your hand there.

First repeat your selected phrases three times to yourself, sending loving-kindness. As an illustration, “May I be strong, safe, and healthy”.

Next, choose a person you genuinely care about (not your spouse or a love partner), a regular observer who is impartial, and a person you are currently struggling with.

Suppose that the four of you are seated in a circle. Repeat the phrase you have selected three times to your circle, keeping them all in the mind.

“May you be robust, safe, and well.” Next, visualize the loving-kindness expanding beyond your immediate circle to include your area, your community, your country, and all living things on Earth.

“May all the beings on the planet Earth be healthy, safe, and strong,” repeat mentally three times. Next visualize the following: “May all beings throughout all time and space be healthy, safe, and strong.” This loving-kindness should then be imagined flowing from the earth into space and to all life-forms in the cosmos.

Return your focus to your breathing and your environment gradually, and then open your eyes.

Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation

  • It is a mystic blueprint for a longer life with less agony, better happiness, improved relationships, and stronger springiness.
  • It augments mental and emotional well-being
  • Loving-kindness triumphs over hostility.
  • By compassion practice in this meditation, one defeats cruelty.
  • Practice of appreciative joy disables jealousy and envy.

There are eleven main benefits as told by Buddha:

  • You have a good sleep.
  • You wake up feeling rejuvenated.
  • You don’t experience nightmares.
  • You are viewed with fondness by other.
  • Pet and animals think highly of you.
  • Angelic creatures guard you.
  • You won’t sustain any injuries from poison, fire, or weapons.
  • You have quick focus and concentration
  • Your complexion is quite radiant or bright.
  • You’ll pass away calmly, anxiety or distress.
  • In the event that you are not enlightened, your reincarnation will be happy.

Benefits of LKM according to the latest scientific research.

  • Lessened self-criticism, soothes our inner critic, and makes us more self-accepting (Shahar et al., 2015). A 49-day of LKM followed in lessening in self-harming impulses in person with suicidal tendencies and boundary personality qualities (Fredrickson et al., 2008).
  • Enhanced wellbeing, rises vagal tone, a physiological indicator of subjective wellbeing that raises satisfaction in life and its quality the quality.
  • Decreased aging of cells (Le Nguyen at al., 2019)
  • Reduced pain- patients with chronic back pain (Happened in- Carson et al., 2005) and migraine (Happened in- Tonelli & Wachholtz, 2014) disclosed that after practicing loving-kindness meditation for a short periods, they experienced a diminution in pain symptoms and were able to go bout their daily lives.
  • Grander resilience: This meditation was found to lesion trauma symptoms and flashbacks in the study of individuals with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (Kearney et al., 2013). Studies that served as controls revealed that groups that used scripts for loving-kindness meditation during their sessions were able to get back to work earlier than those who got other training. (Seppala et al., 2014). It strengthens healthcare personnel’ resilience and helps them avoid burnout. (Seppala et al., 2014).
  • Better relationships: According to Hutcherson at al. (2008), it leads to better social ties at work, more empathy for strangers, and more stability in social interactions overall (Don et al., 2022).
  • Better mental health: Although research on LKm’s effects on major mental health disorders is still in its early stages, preliminary results have shown that patients with depression and bipolar (Johnson et at., 2011) and schizophrenia (Hofmann et al., 2015) experience fewer delusions and hallucinations.

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