I wrote this post on meditation a while back and wanted to give you an update, as well as talk a little about my Metta practice. In my original post I spoke about my shift in attitude about meditation – how it went from feeling like a chore to being an integral part of my self care.
The last nine months have seen a continuation of this theme! Yay for meditation.
I generally meditate in the morning, as well as when I get into bed in the evening.
I find the morning meditation helps me feel balanced and calm in preparation for the day ahead. It provides a few moments of quiet – and don’t we all need time for some tranquility in our busy and rushed morning routines! I am also better able to create my intentions for my day ahead, which I wholeheartedly believe makes me a more present and perceptive teacher and coach.
Evening meditation, again for me at least, allows me to wind down. I create space away from whatever has happened during the day and am able to turn my attention inwards again. I reconnect to my breath, and in doing so I make the shift back into my physicality (and away from the day’s events, good or otherwise).
We all know how it is to get swept away by the goings on of our lives. Meditation as a whole gives me the opportunity to step away from all of the ‘drama’ of everyday living. I am able to detach from any excitement or stresses, plans or concerns, and view them as external from me. The tides of emotion retreat, and I feel so much more centred as a result.
There’s so many types of meditation, and I wanted to talk about some of my favourites over the course of a few posts. Hopefully it’ll leave you feel inspired if you’ve been stuck in a rut lately, or are new to meditation.
Metta // loving kindness meditation
“The practice of Metta meditation is a beautiful support to other awareness practices. One recites specific words and phrases evoking a “boundless warm-hearted feeling.” The strength of this feeling is not limited to or by family, religion, or social class. We begin with our self and gradually extend the wish for well-being happiness to all beings.”
From the Metta Institute
Metta is a Pali word meaning ‘loving kindness’. How beautiful is that?! The original name for the practice was Metta Bhavana (‘loving kindness cultivation’), and it’s a type of mantra meditation which is really supportive and accessible to all.
Simply find a comfortable place to sit and take some deep breaths. You can speak the following mantra aloud, or simply go through it in your mind – your choice completely. Go through the words slowly, and allow the intention behind the mantra to really sink in.
May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.
My personal Metta practice
Feel free to tailor your own Metta practice to something that resonates with you. I have adapted my own Metta mantra, basing it somewhat on Natalie Rousseau’s Metta practice (a fantastic yoga and meditation teacher based in Canada) and the traditional mantra above. My current Metta practice looks something like this:
May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be safe. May I be filled with gratitude. May I be happy and free.
You can extend this out to your loved ones, and to the larger community – whoever you feel needs some loving kindness. Ultimately you will be able to direct your metta practice towards yourself, a benefactor, a friend, a neutral person, and an enemy.
I love Mantra practices as a whole because they give my wandering mind something to come back to and focus on. The words hold sacredness, whether the mantra is Sanskrit or in your own language. Metta meditation is a really powerful yet accessible way to practice love and compassion for oneself. From personal experience I find that as a result of my Metta practice I treat myself more gently and that my inner critic has completely gone away. I hold more respect and kindness for myself and feel more compassion for others too.
Have you ever practiced Metta or Loving Kindness meditation or would you like to? Let me know if this post resonates with you!