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  • Resilient Practice

Metta Meditation

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

“Cultivating closeness and warmth for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.” -His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV

Metta from Pali (the old Indic dialect of the Buddhist scriptures) meaning "benevolence, amity, friendship, good will, kindness, and love.”

Meditation is an ancient practice that spans thousands of years and most cultures and religions. It is often grouped together with mindfulness and indeed meditation can be a route to a mindful state. There are however some specific differences.

Meditation is the habitual practice of a chosen focus to achieve stillness of the mind. In meditation an altered state of awareness if often reached.

We have spoken before about the importance of stillness.

The calm when we quieten our minds allows us to set clear intentions and so stillness leads to purposeful action.

In stillness we can collect and analyse our thoughts determining whether they are rational of irrational. The calm allows us to consciously choose our responses rather than automatically reacting to circumstances.

In making our responses conscious we reclaim our power in all situations.

When we are still, we can reflect more easily on our actions and activate our capacity to observe, understanding where our psyche is preventing us from moving forward.

It is in stillness that we can connect with the universe and receive answers. Wisdom come from stillness.

There are many ways to meditate. Today we want to focus on the wonderful ‘Metta Meditation,’ also known as ‘Loving Kindness Meditation.’

In this form of meditation, we purposefully speak words that cultivate a feeling of good will and openness to ourselves, then to others; our loved ones, those we are indifferent to and those we dislike.

We know that mediation has beneficial effects on blood pressure, pain, sleep, anxiety, and cognitive function[1].

Metta Meditation has been researched specifically showing both physical and psychological benefits.

Loving-kindness meditation has been proven to produce positive emotions[2][3], to help with psychological problems such as social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving[4].

There is even evidence that it may slow the ageing process![5]

‘How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual’ from Sheldon Press takes you on a journey of self-discovery and shares over 60 tools and techniques, including meditations with purpose, visualisation exercises and practical tools to help improve your mental wellbeing, reduce anxiety and allow you to take control of your life

[1] Horowitz S. Health benefits of meditation. Altern Complement Ther. 2010;16:223–8 [2] Zeng X, Chiu CP, Wang R, Oei TP, Leung FY. The effect of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions: a meta-analytic review. Front Psychol. 2015;6:1693. Published 2015 Nov 3. [3] Fredrickson BL, Cohn MA, Coffey KA, Pek J, Finkel SM. Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008;95(5):1045-106 [4] Hofmann SG, Grossman P, Hinton DE. Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: potential for psychological interventions. Clin Psychol Rev. 2011;31(7):1126-1132. [5] Le Nguyen KD, Lin J, Algoe SB, Brantley MM, Kim SL, Brantley J, Salzberg S, Fredrickson BL. Loving-kindness meditation slows biological aging in novices: Evidence from a 12-week randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Oct;108:20-27. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.05.020. Epub 2019 May 20. Erratum in: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Nov

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