Would you like to know how cultivating kindness can help you in your everyday life? Below you will find out how Metta meditation can support your shift from selfishness towards living and sharing love and kindness.

Mettā meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation is a type of a Buddhist meditation. The word ‘mettā’ comes from Pali (a Buddhist canonical language, closely related to Sanskrit) and means benevolence, loving-kindness, and good will.

During this meditation one silently or out loud recites phrases of good wishes towards initially themselves, then other people and finally extended to all beings in the universe.

By practicing this meditation, you will gradually develop unconditional positive feelings, simultaneously reducing negative emotions towards yourself and other people.

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What Are The Benefits Of Metta Meditation?

Practicing loving-kindness meditation on daily basis can improve your life in many different ways. Metta meditation:

  • Increases positive emotions

No surprise that loving-kindness meditation has a tremendous effect on your emotions. By reciting Metta phrases you boost the emotions such as love, gratitude, joy or compassion. Concentrating on the positive emotions you allow the negative ones to fade away. After the meditation you will feel much lighter!

  • Improves health

By developing self-compassion and self-love your outlook on life can become more positive; and having an increased level of life satisfaction can reduce stress and anxiety. According to some studies loving-kindness meditation can reduce several types of physical pain (like chronic lower back pain or migraine attacks).

  • Fosters a sense of self-compassion

By reciting kind words towards yourself you will improve the sense of self love. If you tend to have a negative image of yourself combined with negative emotions like self-doubt, low self-esteem, anger, constant self-criticism, Metta might help you to tackle these feelings. After all, to love others you need to love yourself first!

  • Improves your social relationships

Metta increases compassion and empathy; you will become more open and understanding towards people’s behaviors. Rather than criticizing and blaming someone’s actions you will be able to find the reason for them. You will not judge.

  • Can slow biological age

Telomeres are sections of DNA found at the end of each chromosome, they are a biological marker of aging. With age the telomeres naturally shorten; stress can accelerate this process which will result in a faster biological aging. Metta meditation can potentially slow down the process. In a 2013 study, loving-kindness meditation practice was associated with longer telomeres in women practicing it.

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How To Practice Metta Meditation

If you feel loving-kindness practice could be something for you, take a look below at ways of practicing it.

  • First, sit in your regular meditation posture, if you are new to meditation, just sit comfortably and close your eyes. At the very beginning you might take a few deep breaths which helps to relax and calm down. You might also want to put your hand on your heart to enhance the feeling of compassion and love.
  • Spend a few moments just concentrating on your breath. You might feel for instance that with every breath in you are allowing love, with every breath out you are releasing negative emotions, like anger or stress. ‘Love in, stress out’. Or simply focus on the movement of the air. After a couple of minutes, reflect on your beautiful and pure heart. Being kind and loving is your true nature.
  • In a traditional Metta prayer you start with expressing wishes for safety, happiness, and peace towards yourself, than you extend them to people close to you like family or friends, followed by ‘neutral’ people (like a neighbor or a postman) and then – if you are able to – try conveying these wishes to people you dislike, those who might have hurt you or you consider enemies. This part might be particularly challenging, so don’t force anything. With practice and growing love in your heart you will be able to include these people into the prayer as well.

Just start where it feels easiest. At the ultimate level of sending your benevolence, you extend your wishes for safety, happiness, and peace to all living beings in the universe.

  • Invoking kindness and compassion towards yourself

In your mind or out loud, recite with feeling:

‘May I be kind’

‘May I be happy, healthy & safe’

‘May my heart be peaceful, beyond suffering’

You can write your own words or adapt the lines above. Simply use the words which speak best to your heart and fill it with love and kindness.

When reciting the prayer, you can picture yourself as you are now or you might choose to see yourself as a loving and innocent child you once were. Visualize your heart opening up and emitting light. See this light flooding every cell of your body.

Recite the prayer repeatedly, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind.

Metta prayer printable. To save or print, just click on it 🙂

  • Invoking kindness and compassion towards your family or friends

Now visualize someone in your life who you truly care for and feel the outpouring of love.

In your mind or out loud, recite with feeling:

‘May you be kind’

‘May you be happy, healthy & safe’

‘May your heart be peaceful, beyond suffering’

  • Invoking kindness and compassion towards neutral beings

Think of someone you have neutral feelings and wish them well, you might say something like ‘Even if we don’t know each other well, please know I wish you well. May you live your life with more joy and ease.’ Or just recite the words you used for your friend.

  • Invoking kindness and compassion towards people who hurt you or towards your enemies

As this part might be the most challenging, allow it to develop gradually. When you feel you are ready for this step, visualize someone who caused you pain and send them your loving and kind thoughts. In your mind or out loud, recite with feeling:

‘May you be kind’

‘May you be happy, healthy & safe’

‘May your heart be peaceful, beyond suffering’

  • Invoking kindness and compassion towards all beings

Finally, you send your benevolence to all living beings in the universe. You might visualize them sitting around you in all shapes and forms and you are shining bright like millions of suns, radiating kindness in all directions. In your mind or out loud, recite with feeling:

‘May you be kind’

‘May you be happy, healthy & safe’

‘May your heart be peaceful, beyond suffering’

Metta prayer printable. To save or print, just click on it 🙂


    If you find it difficult to direct loving kindness to yourself, begin the meditation with people you feel most natural love for. A wonderful thing about Metta meditation is that you can start where is feels the easiest. By opening your heart in the most natural way, you will be able to gradually direct loving-kindness to the areas where it feels more challenging.

    During the meditation you may notice some negative feelings like anger or frustration arise. If this happens just let them come and go. Don’t judge yourself for feeling them, just be patient and kind towards yourself.

    When you feel more comfortable with Metta meditation, you will be able to practice it anywhere: in traffic jams, on a train or when queuing at a supermarket. You will feel a new connection with people and the world around.

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