Group Metta Meditation Is Really Good For Us

Metta meditation in the Sri Premananda Centre of Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: “In 2014 we started group metta meditation as part of the monthly programmes in our Sri Premananda Centre. On the last Sunday of every month after the evening abhishekam we hold a group metta meditation. We invite people through Facebook to come and join us for this. We feel that it’s really good for people, especially new people who are just getting interested in spirituality. They don’t need to know how to meditate because it is a guided meditation and we also have the opportunity to tell new people a little about Swamiji, the Centre and the Ashram if we feel it’s appropriate. We normally ask people to bring a little food to share with everyone at the end of the meditation.”

The following instructions are an example of a loving-kindness meditation. They can be read out slowly, giving time between each instruction for people to assimilate it and go deeply within.

Sit comfortably.
Allow your attention to come to the breath.
The breath comes in and goes out by itself deep within the body.
Be attentive to the even rhythm of the breath.
Turn gently within.
Feel as if you yourself are your only child.
Say silently in your heart,

May I rest in my heart,
May I be free from suffering,
May I be healed,
May I be at peace.

Feel the breath breathing into the heart space as you relate to yourself with loving kindness and compassion.

May my heart flower,
May I know the joy of my true nature,
May I be at peace.

With each exhalation deepening in peace, develop a deep patience that relates with love to things as they are rather than waiting to change things from what they are now.

Send well-being into your mind and body.
Embrace yourself with these gentle loving words.
Now gently bring to mind someone for whom you feel warmth and kindness.
It may be a friend or one of the family.
Picture this loved one in your heart.
Draw them into your heart with each in breath.
Fill them with loving kindness with each out breath.
Whisper inwardly to yourself and to them,

May you be happy,
May you be free from suffering,
May you be well,
May you be at peace.

Send them love, compassion and care.
Imagine a light radiating from your heart,
Touching the heart of your friend and filling them with joy.
Share this precious moment with them.

Repeat this for someone who you don’t know very well, that you don’t have a particular feeling for or against, somebody that you see once in a while, imagine them sitting in front of you, and offer these same phrases of loving kindness to them.

Repeat this for someone with whom you have difficulties.
Imagine this person is with you right now.
Notice any feelings of discomfort.
Notice what you think about them.
Any bad feelings you have about them
Consciously let go of these feelings and instead whisper to them,

May you be happy,
May you be free from suffering,
May you be well,
May you be at peace.

Now we open our hearts in this way to all beings everywhere, without distinction, without separation.

Feel this whole world that wants to be healed and to be at peace.
Let us open our hearts and pray,

May all beings be free of suffering,
May all beings be at peace,
May all beings be well and whole.
May all beings be happy, be healthy, live peacefully.
All people, all animals, all creatures, all those in existence, near and far, known to us and unknown to us.
All beings on the earth, in the air, in the water.
Those being born, those dying.
May all beings everywhere be happy, be healthy, live peacefully.

Feel the energy of this aspiration extending infinitely in front of you,
Feel it on either side, behind you, above and below.
Your heart opens and extends in a boundless way, leaving no one out.

Let the breath come softly.
Let the breath go gently.
Send care and love, well being and kindness to this world that we all share.

Sri Premananda Ashram © 2018. All Rights Reserved