Metta is normally translated as “Compassion”, or “Loving Kindness”. The great meditation teacher Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thaera gives a perhaps more fitting translation; “Loving Friendliness”. This is perhaps more fitting due to the fact that Compassion is also used to translate the word “Karuna” (otherwise translated as “Generosity”). Loving Friendliness indeed includes both compassionate and amicable thought processes. In Buddhism we will refer to this kind of thought that is orientated around well wishing, friendly, compassionate and concerned (for the wellness of other beings). Metta is not something we all have automatically, and therefore is an aspect of thought which must first be developed. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing meditation to develop Metta.
Metta (Loving Kindness/Friendliness) meditation is an extremely important element of Buddhist practice, and a useful tool for reducing worry, and mental stress and suffering. Development of Metta is essential, as successful attainment of the kind and compassionate mind will lend peace, and quietness to the mind and heart, which helps so much when meditating, because when we have Metta we do not have any remorse or regret or guilty feelings blocking our thoughts. This will aid us in being able to concentrate on the object of meditation with a still mind.
One of the Western world’s most proficient teachers in meditation is the Sri Lankan master Bhante G (Henepola Gunaratana), who is the resident Master at Bhavana Society in Virginia U.S.A.
Included in this post is the download for his most clear and easily understandable teaching on how to practise and develop Metta using simple gradual techniques.
Metta is not felt from the beginning, we have to develop it slowly in our hearts; Bhante G explains how to do this in an extremely clear way.
Below Pic – Bhante G meditating with a 4 year old daughter of one of his students in Argentina