Some years ago I participated in an interfaith course studying the different major religions. Two features of Buddhism particularly stick in the memory. One was of course mindfulness, the other was the practice of Metta, the subject of this post.
As well as being a subject for meditation, the practice of Metta essentially involves projecting ‘loving kindness’ or ‘universal love’ or ‘benevolence’ out to others. In its ultimate essence Metta is beyond ego and concerns of the individual self; its concern is the wellbeing of all, of life itself.
An exercise of my course was to practise Metta while walking, projecting this benevolence to all you meet. This practice does first require you to be mindful.
It is not surprising that the response of people you meet is more positive than when you are immersed in your own concerns. This is, literally, spreading goodwill around the world.
Worth a try, don’t you think?
Featured image is a Japanese representation of Buddha.
2 thoughts on “Metta”
The concept of Metta is very important to we Buddhists, and in 2007 Dr C and I tried to project it onto a whole section of Nepalese society….. primary school children! Sounds crazy, but it went far beyond anything at the individual level. It was very very hard having such a focus, but it was definitely “felt” by the 200 schools and communities we worked with, it sustained us as we battled a corrupt government and politicised teachers. But very difficult to describe to “others”.
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Sounds like you were giving wonderful service.