The following is my wish for you, wherever and whenever you happen to be reading this:
May you be filled with loving kindness, toward yourself and toward others.
May you be healthy, in body and mind.
May you be safe, and free from harm.
May you be and feel: fully supported, and deeply loved, valued, cherished, and cared for.
May you be truly happy, peaceful, content, and fulfilled.
The practice of metta (lovingkindness) is simple, but profound. It essentially consists of silently, and heartfully, wishing yourself and others well. It can be done as part of a formal sitting meditation practice, or it can be done as you move about in the world in your everyday life.
It can be very powerful to take time out of your day — even a short amount — and devote it to nothing but the cultivation of compassion toward yourself and others. If you are brand new to this practice (or even if you’re not), I highly recommend being guided through it. Probably the easiest way is to find an audio recording by an experienced meditation teacher. (I recommend Jack Kornfield, but find someone whose voice and style suits you; there should be numerous options readily available online.)
The practice goes like this:
Once you are in a calm and relaxed state, after sitting still for a few moments and perhaps taking several deep breaths, you focus your attention on simple phrases that you repeat silently to yourself:
May I be happy. May I be well. May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.
Use whatever words resonate best with you. Feel free to experiment and change them up from time to time as you find useful or helpful. You can use some or all of the ones I wrote for you at the top of this post, if you like, or modify them in any way that suits you.
It is typical to begin “formal” practice with yourself as the object of these wishes. This can be more difficult than it sounds, especially if you have a tendency to be hard on yourself. Stick with it as best you can. Things change from day to day. Some days the words might seem utterly hollow to…