February-The Month of Love-ing Kindness

This is the month to recognize and show love. It should be a 365-day-a-year practice! Nevertheless, it’s beautiful that we have a day that puts love on the calendar. One of my favorite “love” practices, is Metta Meditation.  Metta Meditation comes from the Buddhist philosophy. It is the conscious practice of sending loving kindness. It’s a simple meditation, however it is profound.

The first person you send loving kindness to is yourself. You cannot give to others, what you do not have for yourself. Your ability to love, is only as deep as the love you have for yourself.  It is intricately connected.

The second is a good friend. That’s easy to do. Friends are the family we choose. It feels wonderful to send loving kindness their way. It’s easy to send love to people you care about.  It’s like sending them a special gift they will never know they’re getting.

Third is a neutral person. It could be someone you frequently see at the check out in the supermarket,  perhaps your mailman or maybe a neighbor you don’t really know. It feels good sending loving kindness to someone simply because they exist, and are a part of creation.

The fourth is a difficult person. This one is more challenging. Our tendency is to shut down when it comes to difficult people. Some people are not easy to like or love. They try our patience and sometimes make our life miserable. Sending them loving-kindness helps them and it also helps us.

The fifth is all sentient beings. This is one of my favorites. It allows us to expand our awareness far and wide, with good will for everyone. It’s one of the things I love about Buddhist philosophy. It is not just about the improvement of one or a few, it is about rising everyone. We are only as good as our weakness link.

Take ten minutes a day, sit comfortably and go through the list using the simple metta- meditation script below. Repeat four more times, replacing “I” with the names on the list 1 through 5.

May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be free of suffering
May I live in peace
May my life be blessed with ease

This simple practice has many benefits, the best ones are developing inner happiness and peace. It’s a beautiful practice that can be practice by everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs. Sending good intentions helps rise the positive energy of ourselves and our world.

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