The Metta Prayer


The practice of Metta meditation is a form of prayer. When we recite the Metta meditation prayer, we are acknowledging the compassion that is already there within us and consciously extending it to ourselves, then others in our life, and then to the world around us.

We begin with the recitation to ourselves first because it is the only way we can then truly feel it toward others. It is the way to opening up our hearts. It enables us to be more honest and forgiving toward ourselves first then all others.

“Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity”

— Pema Chodron

May I live in happiness May I be safe from inner and outer danger May I be healthy in mind and body May I live my life with ease

Next we awaken loving kindness toward someone whom we feel true love and tenderness. A child or children, mate or companion, someone close to us and special in our lives.

May —- live in happiness May —- be safe from inner and outer danger May —- be healthy in mind and body May —- live their life (or lives) with ease

Next we may direct our same Metta prayer toward someone we feel neutral or indifferent toward. Someone we passed on the street, or glanced by on the bus or in a shop.

May —- live in happiness May —- be safe from inner and outer danger May —- be healthy in mind and body May —- live their life (or lives) with ease

Now we will awaken loving kindness toward someone we have difficulty with or we find offensive in some way. Someone who has hurt or angered us.

May —- live in happiness May —- be safe from inner and outer danger May —- be healthy in mind and body May —- live their life (or lives) with ease

Finally we extend our compassion out to the world. We extend our loving kindness to the entire planet. To all life, to all peoples in all their various forms of personal suffering, loneliness, physical and emotional suffering, the war-ravaged, the destitute, all those struggling toward enlightenment.

May they all (this world) live in happiness May they all (this world) be safe from inner and outer danger May they all (this world) be healthy in mind and body May all creation realize its own Divine nature May we all live our lives with ease May we all gain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings

Feel free to create your own special Metta prayer, one that has special significance to you. Feel free to apply the Metta prayer to all life, those we love in the animal realm and the planet itself.

About the author: Donald Francis is a meditation teacher and freelance writer. Incorporates art, music, poetry and literature into his teaching and makes meditation interesting and relevant to everyone. He lives in London, England.

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Sangha Without Borders is currently physically located in London, UK