Metta Meditations

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a practice rooted in Buddhist traditions. It is designed to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness towards oneself and others. The word “Metta” is a Pali term that means kindness, benevolence, and goodwill. This practice is not just about developing warm feelings of goodwill, but it is also about breaking down barriers that we have erected between ourselves and others. A detailed explanation of the practice is below the video link.

This meditation will guide you to a deeper appreciation for self and the world around you. Useful for anyone who desires inner peace as well as general relaxation. Written and read by Kathleen Grace-Bishop; Music Performed by Cynthia Chatis.

Origins and Philosophy

  • Buddhist Roots: Metta meditation originates from the Buddhist tradition, particularly Theravada Buddhism, but it’s also found in Mahayana and Tibetan traditions.
  • Philosophical Basis: At its core, Metta meditation is about cultivating an unconditional and inclusive love. Unlike ordinary affection, this love is not dependent on benefiting oneself and does not diminish for others.

Practice Steps

  1. Finding a Quiet Place: Like most meditative practices, Metta meditation begins with finding a calm and comfortable place to sit.
  2. Starting with Oneself: The practice often starts with the self because loving others becomes easier when one feels a sense of self-love and acceptance.
  3. Generating Feelings of Kindness and Goodwill: Practitioners silently repeat phrases that express wishes of goodwill and kindness towards themselves, such as “May I be happy, may I be healthy.”
  4. Expanding the Circle: Gradually, these feelings are extended towards others—starting from loved ones, to friends, to acquaintances, to neutral individuals, and eventually even to those with whom one has difficulties.
  5. Universal Extension: In its most advanced form, Metta meditation involves extending these sentiments of unconditional love and compassion to all living beings without distinction.

Key Phrases

  • Common phrases include: “May you be happy,” “May you be healthy,” “May you be safe,” “May you live with ease.”
  • These phrases can be customized as per the practitioner’s preference.


  • Emotional Wellbeing: Studies suggest that Metta meditation can enhance positive emotions, reduce anxiety and depression, and even help with anger management.
  • Social Connectedness: Regular practice can increase feelings of social connectedness, empathy, and understanding towards others.
  • Physical Health: Some evidence indicates that loving-kindness meditation may have physical health benefits, like reducing pain and boosting the immune system.

Challenges and Tips

  • Overcoming Resistance: It’s not uncommon to face resistance, especially when directing Metta towards oneself or challenging individuals.
  • Consistency and Patience: Like any skill, Metta meditation requires regular practice and patience. The benefits often accrue gradually over time.


  • Secular Adaptations: Metta meditation has been adapted into secular mindfulness programs, making it accessible to a broader audience.
  • Integration with Other Practices: It can be combined with mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, and other forms of meditative practices.


Metta meditation is a transformative practice that not only enhances personal wellbeing but also fosters a sense of connectedness and empathy towards others. Its simplicity and adaptability make it a powerful tool in the realm of mental health and emotional resilience.

By cultivating a habit of Metta meditation, individuals can develop a deeper sense of compassion and empathy, which are essential qualities in personal and professional life, particularly in fields like counseling and therapy where understanding and compassion are fundamental.