Opening the Heart

Use the metta, or lovingkindness, meditation to cultivate a deep sense of caring for self and for all of creation

BY: Sharon Salzberg

 

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Imagine them sitting in front of you. Say their name. Get a feeling for their presence and offer the phrases of lovingkindness to them.

"May you live in safety. Be happy. Be healthy, live with ease."

Think of someone who plays some role in your life, some function that you don't know very well, that you don't have a particular feeling for, or against. Maybe the checkout person at the supermarket where you shop, the gas-station attendant, somebody that you see periodically. If someone like that comes to mind, imagine them sitting in front of you, and offer these same phrases of lovingkindness to them.

May you live in safety. Be happy. Be healthy, live with ease.

We connect into these phrases, aiming the heart in this way, we're opening ourselves to the possibility of including, rather than excluding, of connecting, rather than overlooking, of caring, rather than being indifferent. And ultimately, we open in this way to all beings everywhere, without distinction, without separation.

May all beings live in safety, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.

All people, all animals, all creatures, all those in existence, near and far, known to us and unknown to us. All beings on the earth, in the air, in the water. Those being born, those dying.

May all beings everywhere live in safety, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.

You feel the energy of this aspiration extending infinitely in front of you, to either side, behind you, above and below. As the heart extends in a boundless way, leaving no one out, may all beings live in safety, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.

And when you feel ready, you can open your eyes and see if you can bring this energy with you throughout the day.

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