Metta Meditation

Meditation of loving kindness


The meditation of loving kindness awakens us to our connection with all living things. The starting point is usually an offering of affection towards our own being.

This simple practice is a direct and powerful means to awaken from the trance (dream). When we see ourselves with kindness, we begin to dissolve the identity of an isolated and deficient self. This prepares the ground for embracing others in a heart that he loves unconditionally.

Sit where you are comfortable and calm and relax any area of the body that you are tense or contracted. Take a few moments to feel the breath in your heart: when you breathe in, feel that you are receiving warmth and energy; when you breathe out, feel that you are letting go at the opening.

Now, whispering or in silence, begin to offer yourself prayers of loving kindness. To begin, choose four or five sentences that are meaningful to you. You can use, among others, the following:

May he fill me with loving kindness; may he welcome me with loving kindness.

  • May I feel safe and at ease.
  • May I feel protected.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I accept myself as I am.
  • May I attain peace.
  • May I come to know the natural joy of being alive.
  • May I find true refuge within my own being.
  • May my heart and mind be opened to receive love.
  • May I be freed from all sorrow, pain and doubt.

As you repeat each of the phrases, open yourself to all the images and feelings that come with the words. Approach this meditation as an experiment, perceiving which are the words and images that serve you best to soften and open yourself to the heart. You can try putting your hand gently over your heart, which may have the effect of deepening the experience of welcoming yourself with kindness.

Spend as much time as you like offering these phrases to yourself and reflecting on them. When you put an end to your meditation, sit in silence for a few moments while you observe the sensations of your body and heart. Is there a new sense of space and tenderness? Do you feel more at ease in your own being?

Throughout the day: The more you remember to see yourself with kindness, the easier it will be for you to find a sense of connection and release from the trance. You can practice anywhere, offering yourself the phrases of loving kindness while walking, or in your car, or while carrying out the tasks of your daily life.

If you feel agitated or upset: Prayers of loving kindness may seem discordant or artificial if you are oppressed by fear, shame or confusion. Sometimes, they may even emphasize how badly you feel about yourself and how unworthy you consider yourself.

Include this reactivity in your meditation, without criticism: “Let this also be accepted in loving kindness. Then continue practicing your meditation without further ado, accepting any thoughts or feelings that may arise.

If the words seem mechanical to you: Don’t worry if you sometimes notice that you are just repeating the phrases. Your heart has its natural epochs when it feels open or closed. The most important thing is your intention to awaken loving kindness.


Fear arises from a sense of separation, and loosens its prey when we perceive our connection with others and with life. This version of loving kindness meditation can help you develop the capacity to receive love and to trust integration.

Sit quietly, be comfortable and take several deep breaths. With delicate attention, check your body and mind for any fears or vulnerabilities you may be feeling.

Connect with your desire to feel safe, protected and loved. Then, evoke a place (of the world or of your imagination) where you feel very comfortable. It can be a place of nature or your bedroom, a cafeteria or a cathedral.

Take a few moments to evoke it with all your senses, imagining the shapes and colors, smells and sounds of your healing place. Can you feel there, embraced by the energy of peace, comfort or beauty that surrounds you?

Now, bring to your mind the face of a person who will help you feel loved and safe. It could be your grandmother or a dear teacher, your dog or your closest friend. It can be a spiritual figure, like the Buddha, Kwan-yin (the bodhisattva of compassion) or Jesus.

Whoever appears, notice that the person perceives your vulnerability and your longing for a safe haven. Look into her eyes and see how she sends you a message of love: “I’m here with you…I care.” Feel her physical presence and let energy surround you and welcome you in a safe embrace.

Take a few moments to assimilate the love and tranquility they are offering you. What is it like to feel surrounded and welcomed by this affection?

Now place your hand gently over your heart or against your cheek and receive that caress as a message of that person’s affection and protection.

If you find yourself in a particularly painful situation in your life, try to get in touch with the underlying fear and feel how that fear lives in your body. Touch your throat, chest, belly. At the same time, imagine that the love of the being you have called flows through your hand until you reach your most vulnerable points and full of fear.

Perhaps you will hear the voice of that being, who pronounces words of kindness and trust. Spend as much time as you want to let love in and open yourself directly to the sensations and feelings that arise. How does receiving love affect you? Notice any change in your breathing, in your shoulders and belly, in your heart and in your mind.

Is there any sign that the message of love and integration has been received in the depths of your body and spirit? If you treat yourself with patience and delicacy, you will learn to connect with a sense of inner refuge when you need it most.