Updated: Apr 23
I'm enhancing my own meditation practice by adding a "Metta" mantra. Metta can be translated as "loving kindness" and is an ancient Buddhist practice that has been in use for thousands of years. Applying a Metta mantra can help you focus and enhance your meditative experience. Focusing on the words of the mantra in your meditation can cultivate positive emotions towards yourself and others and heighten your concentration, and in turn reduce stress and physical pain when practiced over time.
The basic idea is to identify and silently recite a series of kind and encouraging phrases to yourself. Then refocus your attention - breathe in the image and feeling of a benefactor or mentor, then a neutral party, then someone who is a challenge in your life. After each recitation, breathe in to embrace, then breathe out to let go the image of that person and repeat as desired.
For those new to the idea, I encourage you to experiment with this order of operations to see how it lands for you. Maybe you begin by sending your Metta to your benefactor, then the neutral party, then to someone who challenges you, and then finally to yourself.
When you complete your recitation, breathe in, breath out, and reconnect with stillness. Notice the easy ebb and flow of your breath for a few minutes before ending your practice and moving on with your day.
Here's a sample I developed as I acknowledge that safety and security varies greatly for each of us, based upon our lived experience.
Be well. Breathe well. Be safe.