What metta is

flower

  • Metta is an attitude of recognizing that all sentient beings (that is, all beings that are capable of feeling), can feel good or feel bad, and that all, given the choice, will choose the former over the latter.
  • Metta is a recognition of the most basic solidarity that we have with others, this sharing of a common aspiration to find fulfillment and escape suffering.
  • Metta is empathy. It’s the willingness to see the world from another’s point of view: to walk a mile in another person’s shoes.
  • Metta is the desire that all sentient beings be well, or at least the ones we’re currently thinking about or in contact with. It’s wishing others well.
  • Metta is friendliness, consideration, kindness, generosity.
  • Metta is an attitude rather than just a feeling. It’s an attitude of friendliness.
  • Metta is the basis for compassion. When our Metta meets another’s suffering, then our Metta transforms into compassion.
  • Metta is the basis for shared joy. When our Metta meets with another’s happiness or good fortune, then it transmutes into an empathetic joyfulness.
  • Metta is boundless. We can feel Metta for any sentient being, regardless of gender, race, or nationality.
  • Metta is the most fulfilling emotional state that we can know. It’s the fulfillment of the emotional development of every being.
  • It’s our inherent potential. To wish another well is to wish that they be in a state of experiencing Metta.
  • Metta is the answer to almost every problem the world faces today. Money won’t do it. Technology won’t do it. Metta will.

15 Comments. Leave new

Bodhipaksa
The whole Wildmind website is a marvel of form and content, even the least, the most laconical comment can bring one insight. I have been immersed in it for weeks, and have found help and inspiration aplenty. But this description of Metta, in its sobriety and, well, loving kindness, is the best I’ve read yet. Thank you.

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Cancer Out of my Hands | A life in 5 years
March 31, 2013 1:58 am

[…] will no longer worry about infecting others with my negativity. I will however continue to send out metta every morning as I wind up my meditation sessions. That is something I am more than happy to infect […]

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Tammy Kuykendall
April 22, 2013 12:06 am

I was told by my brother that I live in a fantasy world when I told him we are responsible for each other,so on and so forth. I saw the word Metta and looked it up and found this definition and I realized THIS is how I feel!!!!! I had no idea there was a word for this feeling inside me.

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Mindfulness and creativity - The Centre For Mindfulness Studies - The Centre For Mindfulness Studies
June 17, 2013 9:43 am

[…] instructs us to try to bring a basic friendliness (or Metta) to our experience as best we […]

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Yes, Metta puts a word to what I’ve felt for others my entire life. You are my brothers and sisters, how could I not feel and wish Metta for and upon you?

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I have been trying to discipline myself for better meditation and come upon your site and am very interested and enchanted by metta.. Thank you

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Becoming The One | adviceyouneed
October 26, 2014 9:58 pm

[…] one’s self in actions and motives. Something I will explore in a later post is the practice of metta, or sending love to all beings. That is the great part about compassion; it widens the capacity of […]

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Thank you for this text. There is lots for me to consider…. as well as the comments of others. THANK YOU ALL!

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Something Missing? | The Inner Space Project
March 31, 2015 1:26 pm

[…] a more meaningful experience. Regular mindfulness practice and other forms of meditation, such as Metta meditation has a positive impact on ourselves: it makes us “nicer”. This connection within, when […]

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I would wager that metta is NOT empathy but sympathy instead. We do not need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand that they are suffering. When you visit the doctor, does the doctor need to have your disease to diagnose and treat you? The answer is easily no. Empathy implies that we take on that person’s baggage but to do so would hold us back. We can love without having to be in their shoes, especially since in the grand scheme of things, we likely have walked in those shoes already.

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metta can prevent binges – days of metta
January 18, 2016 1:24 am

[…] tons of meditation.  I discovered that with the meditation, I was calmer and more focused.  This page even claims that metta will solve most any problem.  While that may be an exaggeration, […]

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Kärlek & relationer | tro och tanke
January 31, 2016 2:49 pm

[…] band mellan jordens alla varelser.  Det är ett tillstånd som vi inom buddhismen beskriver som metta. Det är det mest tillfredsställande känslomässiga tillstånd som vi kan uppleva. Det är […]

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Kidding Around Yoga | Blog | Become a Kids Yoga Teacher | Page 11653
May 5, 2016 7:03 am

[…] heart. The practitioner’s touch is done through the act of unconditional loving-kindness known as Metta. By touching from the heart rather than the mind, love is transmitted through the massage and is […]

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We can only imagine what it is like to walk in anothers shoes. No pair of feet are identical and our individual life experiences are unique. To be in someone else’s shoes, we can be only their shadow. To truly practice metta and lovingkindness, means to try and understand someone by practicing deep listening and empathetic understanding.

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