Compassion Meditation (aka Metta)

Compassion Meditation (aka Metta) Tutorial from 10% Happier by Dan Harris

At first blush, most rational people find the below off-putting in the extreme.  Trust me – or, better, trust the scientists – it works.

1. This practice involves picturing a series of people and sending them good vibes.  Start with yourself.  Generate as clear a mental image as possible.

2. Repeat the following phrases: May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live with ease.  Do this slowly.  Let the sentiment land.  You are not forcing your well-wishes on anyone; you’re just offering them up, just as you would a cool drink.  Also, success is not measured by whether you generate any specific emotion.  As Sharon says, you don’t need to feel “a surge of sentimental love accompanied by chirping birds.”  The point is to try.  Every time you do, you are exercising your compassion muscle.  (By the way, if you don’t like the phrases above, you can make up your own.)

3. After you’ve sent the phrases to yourself, move on to: a benefactor (a teacher, mentor, relative), a close friend (can be a pet, too), a neutral person (someone you see often but don’t really ever notice), a difficult person, and, finally, “all beings.”

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