Metta Contemplation

Metta (Good will or loving kindness or loving friendliness) is a huge and beautiful topic. It’s the second of the Guardian Meditations.As a meditation, you literally direct your focus to the feeling of loving kindness in the same way you direct your focus to the breath. For some people it can augment or even replace breath meditation.

I just saw a study the other day that presented interesting evidence that metta meditation can permanently alter a person’s happiness set point. Winning the lottery or losing your eye sight DON’T change your happiness set point. A year after going blind or getting $100million, most people are back to being as happy as they were before. But doing metta apparently permanently alters our ability to be happy both in the moment and day to day.

Metta Contemplation (rather than metta meditation) is the idea of contemplating loving kindness as an antidote to anger, ill will, and the like. You see in some respects it dovetails nicely with a certain kind of Contemplation of the Buddha. You can see his wonderful example and use that awareness to help see how important metta is for you! Isn’t your own peace of mind more important to you than hanging on to anger at someone else. What is really important? The dishes? Or inner peace?

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