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Loving-kindness meditation (Metta) has its roots in Indian Buddhism and has developed thousands of years ago. Up to now, although the form of meditation has changed into many different variations, they are all aimed at a single goal of cultivating love for oneself and all things. Learn about Metta meditation through the following article.
What is loving-kindness meditation (Metta meditation)?
Metta in Indian means positive energy and full of love for people. That is why Metta meditation was created with the mission of cultivating compassion for all sentient beings. The main technique of Metta meditation is to recite beautiful phrases to create positive energy for life.
The practice of Metta meditation will bring many health benefits and positive emotions to people, including: Joy, trust, love, gratitude, happiness, appreciation and pity.
To cultivate the good soul within yourself, silently recite the following kind phrases:
- May I be safe, at peace, and free from suffering.
- Pray for me to be happy. Pray for me to be healthy.
- Wish you strong and confident.
The important thing is to repeat each phrase with full attention.
What are the benefits of loving-kindness meditation?
Metta meditation is the practice of repeating words of kindness to oneself, so it can cultivate compassion for all sentient beings. The essence of Metta meditation is that you must learn to love yourself before giving that love to others.
Besides, Metta meditation will contribute to arouse compassion within people to reduce negative emotions towards themselves, including: Unworthiness, lack of confidence, judgment, anger , self-criticism.
Reduce stress and anxiety
According to experts, Metta meditation helps us to calm down and see things in a more positive way, it improves the quality of your life and makes your mind more optimistic and happier.
Reduce physical pain
Metta meditation has the ability to relieve minor physical pain, especially migraine because Metta meditation helps you get rid of negative emotions, brings a feeling of lightness, relaxation and improves health. mentally in a better way.
Telomeres are the DNA structures at the end of each chromosome. As people age, telomeres gradually shorten and that is when biological aging occurs faster.
Mental comfort activities such as Metta meditation have the potential to slow down the decline in telomere length. Therefore, biologists have speculated that this approach has the potential to improve human lifespan.
How to do loving-kindness meditation
Here are instructions on how to do Metta meditation from Dr. Helen Weng and masters Candace Hander. The best time for you to do it is 5 – 45 minutes a day and lasts for at least 2 weeks.
Step 1Prepare space, sound, scent
You should choose a quiet, comfortable, clean and completely alone space. Don’t forget to turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices to avoid interruptions during meditation.
Alternatively, you can relax more by turning on meditative music or white noise in the background and using an essential oil diffuser to create a pleasant aroma.
Step 2Choose a pose
Staying in a comfortable position will help you increase your ability to focus, by:
- Close your eyes, relax your facial muscles.
- Straighten your back and open your chest.
- Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Lower your chin to make breathing easier.
- Relax your hands and place them on your knees.
- Relax your hips, thighs, and slightly off the plane you’re sitting on.
- After you have settled into your sitting position, slowly close your eyes and put aside the thoughts in life to focus on your breath, and feel the space around you.
Step 3Say goodbye to yourself
This is an important step of Metta meditation, consisting of two actions: contemplation and prayer for peace.
To begin this step, take a deep breath. Then you remember a time when you felt the most difficult mentally or physically for 15-30 seconds.
Then you continue to imagine ways to end those troubles. For example, you can imagine that some magical light appears and wraps the wound in your body, then soothes with each breath.
With each exhale, silently recite the following mantras:
- May I be at peace.
- Hope I’m healthy.
- May I avoid pain, fear, anxiety.
- May I recognize the source of my anger, lust, and deception.
During meditation, if you get agitated, don’t worry too much, but slowly bring your mind back to positive images and thoughts, then repeat the mantras above.
Step 4Praying for love for others
After step 3, relax and loosen up a bit, then start directing your thoughts to the people around you.
The first is the people you love, imagine that person is smiling and giving you extremely warm and sincere words. You take it slowly, slowly, and respond with the same sentences as in step 3, but change the persona. Example: “May you be at peace. I hope you are healthy.”
Next are people who have a normal relationship with you, neither love nor hate such as: Colleague, a friend, even an unknown stranger. Visualize their silhouette, then repeat the phrase “May you be safe and healthy”.
On a more difficult level, think of people with whom you have had or are currently in conflict, feeling very uncomfortable whenever they are around or when someone mentions them. But when you practice this meditation, you imagine the hurt they may have gone through and kindly send a message to them in your mind: “May you be happy, healthy and free of pain.”
Finally, direct your mind to the lives of this world, noting that you can change the prayer to suit your own desires without being too forced.
Above is a summary of what you need to know about Metta meditation. Hope this article will be useful to you and make it easier for you to choose the right meditation method for you.
Source: Vinmec International General Hospital, Vietcetera
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