Chant for Metta (loving kindness)

Take a moment to quiet your mind, and focus your attention on recalling the experience and sensation of loving kindness. Try to summon such feelings within, and hold them throughout your sincere reciting of the following. Try smiling gently, and mean it. That simple step really does something to put us in the right frame of mind.

You will then begin by offering metta to yourself. If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them pass, and return to your metta practice from there, again and again, just as in shikantaza. While reciting, try to maintain the experience and sensation of loving kindness to the beings mentioned.

1. May I be free of suffering; may I feel safe and still.
2. May I be free of enmity; may I be loving, grateful and kind.
3. May I be healthy and at ease in all my ills.
4. May I be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

Next, repeat the chant with a specific close loved one in mind

1. May he(she) be free of suffering; may he(she) feel safe and still.
2. May he(she) be free of enmity; may he(she) be loving, grateful and kind.
3. May he(she) be healthy and at ease in all his(her) ills.
4. May he(she) be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

Then, repeat the above in succession for a specific close friend, a specific neutral person (someone you neither like nor dislike), and then a difficult person (no need to start with the most difficult person, but someone whom you have a distaste for … However, it is a good practice to focus on true enemies or hateful individuals. That is perhaps the most valuable and difficult practice of all).

Close with all beings:

1. May all beings be free of suffering; may all beings feel safe and still.
2. May all beings be free of enmity; may all beings be loving, grateful and kind.
3. May all beings be healthy and at ease in all our ills.
4. May all beings be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

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