Metta is a Pali word that means lovingkindness, friendliness, goodwill or benevolence. And while it is a foreign word to us, it not a foreign mindstate, it is a human quality that can be practiced and developed. It is practiced in meditation by repeating thoughts of metta, “May I/ you be safe, healthy, happy and peaceful.” As we practice it in meditation we start to understand the healing and cohesive power of metta internally.
Whatever we practice on the cushion we are meant to take into our life. I have been particularly inspired lately by our potential to create happy, safe and harmonious communities. Such communities do not come about randomly but by the commitment of the members of the community to ethics, generosity, compassion and metta.
Hatred, division and war are rampant in this world. It is hard to not get discouraged at times. But we can find if not joy then at least comfort with our practice. Saying to ourselves as the Buddha encouraged, “Others may harm, but I will become harmless; others may slay living beings, but I will not. Others may lie; I, however, will speak the truth. Others may slander, talk harshly, gossip, but I will talk only words that promote concord, harmless words agreeable to the ear, full of love, heart-pleasing, courteous, worthy.” And others may hate, but I will live with metta.
Metta has the power to dissolve the boundaries of our heart and it is a cohesive energy that draws beings together in gladness and safety. It is trustworthy and always available to us. May more and more of us align ourselves with metta and build happy communities and society.
Melissa McKay began her path of meditation in 1998 with a small group of dedicated practitioners in Oakland, CA with her beloved, though not known, teacher named Barbara Janus who introduced her to the teachings of Sayadaw U Pandita of Burma. Her first retreat was with Sayadaw U Pandita and the profound changes she saw in herself gave her a strong faith and dedication to the practice. She practiced with Sayadaw and his monks at centers in the U.S. and Burma. She met Bhante Khippa Pano of Vietnam in 2000 and he became her main teacher. She continues to attend intensive meditation retreats yearly and has trained for over 10,000 hours… READ MORE
Join Melissa In-Person at Benedict Canyon Retreat House and Online for Living from the Heart: A Two-Day Retreat starting Friday December 8th, 2023