Loving Kindness Meditation for Challenging Times
This version of the ancient loving-kindness meditation known as Metta has four simple short phrases that seem perfect for getting through our current challenges.
The phrases speak to safety, happiness, health, and ease of mind. All things that we are worried about in the midst of the COVID-19 dangers, unknowns, and changes.
Loving-kindness meditation appears in different variations, but the intention and basic simplicity are consistent across different forms. It has the potential of relieving your stress, calming your anxiety, and lifting you up in everyday situations and in challenging times.
This is how the meditation is described on the Metta Institute website:
Loving-kindness meditation consists primarily of connecting to the intention of wishing ourselves or others happiness.
What's in This Post
|Metta Loving-Kindness Meditation Phrases|
|How to do a Loving-Kindness Meditation|
|Sending Loving-Kindness to Others|
|More Help Dealing With Stress and Anxiety|
|Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation|
Metta Loving-Kindness Meditation Phrases
Begin by expressing supportive encouraging compassion toward yourself by saying these four phrases in your mind:
- May I be safe.
- May I be happy.
- May I be healthy.
- May my mind be at ease.
How to do a Loving-Kindness Meditation
While there is a formal practice of meditation, it seems to me that thinking these phrases can help you get through challenging times no matter how you use them.
You may want to sit comfortably, close your eyes, take a couple of slow deep breaths, and then begin to say the phrases in your mind.
Repeat the sequence as often as you like.
After these phrases that are focused on nurturing yourself, you may want to turn your focus onto other people.
Sending Loving-Kindness to Others
You can switch the phrases to "you" versions for sending loving-kindness to others.
Visualize individuals or groups of people and think these phrases:
- May you be safe.
- May you be happy.
- May you be healthy.
- May your mind be at ease.
You might want to think of family, friends, co-workers, first-responders, essential workers, people you like, and even people you don't like.
Repeat the phrases as many times as you want regarding as many people as you want.
More Help Dealing With Anxiety and Stress
Through decades of helping clients deal with anxiety and stress (and overcoming my own anxiety), I've created many self-help books and recordings for anxiety and stress relief.
Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation
In his blog post about the Loving-Kindness Meditation, Jared Levenson does a great job explaining the research that demonstrates benefits from the use of this mediation, including:
- improved compassion and empathy
- reduced self-criticism
- increased feel-good emotions
- diminished "negative" emotions
- Ann Silvers