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Metta Bhavana Buddhist Meditation for Better Relationships

Meditative practices are ancient yet valuable methods especially in the Buddhist way of life. Metta bhavana Buddhist meditation is one of the most importantly and fruitful approaches to strengthening and deepening the spiritual and mental state of a person. The contemplation method has been around for over 2500 years as first introduced and taught by Gautama Buddha. Metta bhavana is also translated as loving kindness meditation geared towards cultivating a mental state which results to selfless and humane love. There are four different qualities of love which are the main goals of the metta bhavana contemplation approach.

The first quality of love aimed for with the practice of metta bhavana is metta or friendliness. Compassion or caruna is another quality of love which is developed as the fruit of loving kindness meditation. Mudita or appreciative joy and upekkha or equanimity are the other two qualities of love attained through meditation in the Buddhist context. Buddhist meditators believe that the quality of friendliness in loving kindness meditation is demonstrated through warmth which could embrace and reach out to other people.

Loving kindness meditation and practice could be eventually mastered and would naturally flow to others in the form of compassion. Compassion is also the ability of a person to empathize with others who are experiencing difficulties in life. Appreciative joy is the positive expression of appreciation or empathy with the good fortune or happiness of another. This is opposed to the feelings of jealousy or envy towards other people. Metta bhavana Buddhist meditation uses a lot of tools to develop and cultivate compassion towards others while starting from within. Practitioners of loving kindness meditation may use or recite phrases or words in order to focus and concentrate on the development of a loving and compassionate state of mind. According to full time meditators, hours of contemplation through metta bhavana method could produce positive emotions and discard the destructive negative ones.

Just like other forms of meditation, metta bhavana must be practised with consistency and in a regular basis. Continuous and committed meditation leads to the cultivation and achievement of compassion hence practitioners are encouraged to allot quality time to this practice. There are various recommendations and tips which teachers of loving kindness meditation emphasize to their students. Comfortable sitting position is a vital requisite to achieve and maximize the benefits of metta bhavana. Make sure that you are relaxed and comfortable with your position. Metta bhavana meditation is believed to be best achieved after Anapana sati, vispassana or walking meditations. Practitioners of Buddhist meditation are aware of the crown chakra which is located at the top of the head. Feel the sensation or energy from the crown chakra and imagine like you are opening yourself up towards sentient beings.

Metta bhavana Buddhist meditation is loving kindness meditation hence the heart chakra is a vital component in one’s contemplation process. Feel the energy or sensation which emanates from the heart and open this towards all sentient creation and beings. The use of repetitive recitation of metta is effective as you mention this from the bottom of your heart.

 

Let peaceful thoughts flow into your mind like streams flows into the ocean


Be as bright as the sun and as calm as the moon, your light will reduce the dark clouds of stress

 

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