I know. It’s so old to be over Christmas. I just can’t help being sick of it, though. My guess is that as we grow up there is a bitter jaded cynical unchristmas person inside of all of us. It’s all the weird family members one has to endure, meaningless traditions, the puppy I never will get and all the fatty foods in a combo evil mix that does me in every year. Since I’ve been doing quite a bit of meditation lately, I decided that I wanted to try and improve my cynical attitude towards the whole situation by doing some Metta meditation. A more spiritual approach to Christmas.
“The Pali word ‘Metta’ is commonly translated in English as ‘loving-kindness.’ Metta signifies friendship and non-violence as well as “a strong wish for the happiness of others.” Though it refers to many seemingly disparate ideas, Metta is in fact a very specific form of love — a caring for another independent of all self-interest — and thus is likened to one’s love for one’s child or parent. Understandably, this energy is often difficult to describe with words; however, in the practice of Metta meditation, one recites specific words and phrases in order to evoke this “boundless warm-hearted feeling.” The strength of this feeling is not limited to or by family, religion, or social class. Indeed, Metta is a tool that permits one’s generosity and kindness to be applied to all beings and, as a consequence, one finds true happiness in another person’s happiness, no matter who the individual is.”
I’ve found some phrases which are personally meaningful to me. Here are some other helpful examples on useful phrases to use during Metta:
1. May I(He/She) be safe and protected.
2. May I(He/She) be peaceful and happy.
3. May I(He/She) be healthy and strong.
4. May I(He/She) have ease of well being (and accept all the conditions of the world)
I begin by focusing on my breathing, just to get my body and mind calm. Then I start saying the Metta phrases soundlessly inside. When I do this I start getting a warm feeling inside after a little while. After about 10 minutes I change focus to my primary Metta person, which is someone I care for and don’t have a sexual relationship with. After another 10 minutes I change focus again, to a person that I have a neutral relationship with, for example a politician. Then I change focus to someone who I have found annoying in some way. It can be very provoking conjuring up good feelings for someone I dislike, BUT it changes my irritation and that’s the most important thing. Lastly, I go on to send Metta to all living things.
Metta meditation makes me feel better about people and even places I feel I have issues with. I guess I’ve always been a person who easily let other people get to me. In general, meditation helps me with that and makes me more grounded, calm and relaxed, while Metta meditation specifically helps me to get in touch with my good feelings. It helped me get a harmonious Christmas Holiday this year.