Metta is a Pali word that translates into English as “loving kindness.” Pali is the language spoken by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago, and it is this language that the Buddha’s teachings are written.
Metta is an art, an offering, a gift that each human being is endowed with, and metta takes only a moment of time, plus your awareness.
The art of meditation I practice is called Vipassana, an aspect of this practice is the art of metta, which is offered at the end of every meditation. Metta is an opening of hearts, minds and bodily energies, allowing them to flow with loving kindness, which we offer to all beings.
There are days when my being is so full of loving kindness that I am amazed by the power of my mind/body vessel! On these magical days, I offer my loving kindness to every tiny particle of life plus ALL the un-nameable mysteries of the Universe. And I take a few extra moments to send sincere metta to those people/situations in my life which I most struggle with: my “enemies who are my teachers”. I also pause to offer my most gentle metta to those who are hurting and in great need, <<of which there are many>> both human and non-human.
There are other days when I find it difficult to offer loving kindness to others. On these days, I open my heart, mind and bodily energies to my own loving kindness, and I sit with myself as I create a small circular offering-and-receiving of metta, from myself to myself. I am continually amazed at how powerful this circular offering/receiving is, how I slowly open and soften, how I remember that my heart is not made of stone, nor walls, nor frozen barbs of past hurt. I learn the art of healing my heart with my own loving kindness.
And then, there are those days when I cannot generate one single ounce of loving kindness. It is these days when I am most gentle and compassionate with myself, and I receive the loving kindness that others offer to all beings of the Universe, others that I cannot see and do not know, yet are on this planet with me, practicing this ancient art of metta.
There is not a “right” day, all these days are an aspect of this art which is a practice of offering and receiving, both with ourselves and with others. I do not prescribe to any known religion or dogma, instead I have created for myself a cacophony of beliefs from myriad places and teachings, and I respect all beliefs which practice the art of tolerance, kindness and thoughtfulness.