Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness. Neuropsychology measure the increase of the positive endorphins in the brain that enhance our sense of well bing. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life and it can change your life.
Kindness week is in mid February. I am using https://www.twinkl.co.uk/event/international-random-acts-of-kindness-week-2022, as my resource for this week’s podcast. However, I am left wondering why we can’t have a loving kindness year or even a loving kindness life. Back to my mantra…
If we all look after each other we will all be okay
The concept of loving kindness is common in most schools of meditation, known as Metta. Metta or a loving kindness meditation often comes at the end of normal meditation practice, though it can used as a full meditation of loving kindness. In Metta we are expressing caring and empathy for other and even all sentient, feeling, beings. Traditionally this begins with yourself and then, like ripples from a pond, it spreads in ever increasing circles to encompass all of creation.
In this blog I am partly quoting from Bodhipaksa who is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, and founder of Wildmind in 2001. Well worth a visit.
In the current time we need to be building positive emotional connections with all those around us. For many meditators the cons put of Metta is not limited to meditation practice but is a way of life.
Metta is recognising that all sentient beings (including all animals) can feel good or feel bad, and that all, given the choice, will choose the former over the latter. Such contact with feeling implies that there can be suffering for all beings. This is the point where I become a vegetarian. The bottom line for me is that other animals do not have to die in order for me to live and that other animals do not need to suffer so that I can live.
Metta is the solidarity that we have with others, this sharing of a common aspiration to find fulfilment and escape suffering. At this time, dealing with Covid and the aftermath of Covid, we can choose to help others and they choose to help us we could reclaim community. The way that I see it is that if we all work together we can achieve anything.
Metta is empathy which is the willingness to see the world from another’s point of view: to walk a mile in their shoes. When we are consciously awake and aware and switched on we can learn from the experience of other people. When we are consciously asleep and switched off we often have to suffer in order to learn and grow.
Metta is the desire that all sentient beings be well and are doing well, or at least the ones we’re currently thinking about or in contact with. It’s wishing others well. When we look after others the chances are that they will look after us and wish us well. Creating the positive and peaceful family of community.
Metta is friendliness, consideration, kindness, generosity. Charity is when we offer friendliness and support to others. It may be money though the most charitable thing that we can do I’d to be there for other people when they need us.
Metta is an attitude to action rather than just a nice feeling. It’s an attitude of friendliness but friendliness in action.
Metta is compassion. Compassion means ‘with feeling’. When our loving kindness meets another’s suffering, then our Metta transforms into compassion and we feel and respond to their needs.
Metta is shared joy. When our Metta meets with another’s happiness or good fortune, then it transmutes into an empathetic joyfulness. We feel better and more joyful from having made that compassionate connection with another person.
Metta knows no bounds. We can feel Metta for any sentient being, regardless of gender, race, nationality species, ethnicity, orientation. When trained in psychotherapy we are encouraged to treat all those people that we work with, with unconditional positive regard. We also need to treat ourselves in the same way with unconditional positive self regard.
Metta is the most fulfilling emotional state that we can know. It’s the fulfilment of the emotional development of every being. It’s our inherent potential. To wish another well is to wish that they also be in a state of experiencing Metta.
Metta is the answer to almost every problem the world faces today. Money won’t do it. Technology won’t do it. Metta will.
That last point is so simple, yet is is so true.All the world problems could be solved right now with a little loving kindness. Too often politics and the media go out of their way to reinforce the differences between people. Metta shows how similar we all are, and not just human beings all animals, all of creation.
Have a go at the meditation of loving kindness on the Palouse site and enjoy the other great links, knowledge and facilities offered there.
Here is a link to a full metta loving kindness meditation…
Be happy and share your Metta