Learning more about the fifth stage
Congratulations! You’ve now learned the whole of the Metta Bhavana practice — although of course this is the kind of meditation practice in which you can keep learning for an entire lifetime.
It takes regular practice to successfully change your habitual emotional responses, and so establishing a daily meditation practice is a highly beneficial thing to do. Regular meditation has been show in scientific studies to promote a sense of wellbeing and to have health benefits as well.
We recommend alternating the practice of the Metta Bhavana with the practice of the Mindfulness of Breathing. Each practice complements the other very well. You might want to do them on alternate days or you could even do one in the morning and the other in the evening.
The Mindfulness of Breathing (see elsewhere on this site) will help you to develop more calmness and focus, so that you can be less distracted during the Metta Bhavana practice.
It will also help you to maintain an awareness of your emotions throughout the day, so that you can help to sustain a more positive emotional attitude.
With most of us there’s a lot still to be learned about how to apply lovingkindness in daily life, so keep on learning! There is more information about the fifth stage of the practice in this section, and also in our section on Mindfulness in Daily Life.