Loving-kindness meditation consists primarily of connecting to the intention of wishing ourselves or others happiness.
Metta is an ancient Pali (Buddhist) term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence, and non-violence. In practicing Metta meditation, one begins with their self and gradually extends the wish for well-being happiness to all beings. Specific words and phrases are used to evoke good will.
Metta is first practiced toward oneself. Sitting quietly, mentally repeat, slowly and steadily, the following or similar phrases:
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
Allow yourself to sink into the intentions the phrases express. After a period of directing loving-kindness meditation toward yourself, bring to mind a friend or someone in your life who has deeply cared for you. Then slowly repeat phrases of loving-kindness toward them:
May you be happy.
May you be well.
May you be safe.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
After a while, gradually extend the wish for well-being happiness to all beings. Bring to mind other friends, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers, and animals, and send out loving-kindness to them.
May we be happy.
May we be well.
May we be safe.
May we be peaceful and at ease.