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Guided Meditation: Metta (Lovingkindness)

Guided Meditation: Metta (Lovingkindness)

A guided practice in which we become aware of our bodies and aware of the people we love, and we listen to a lovely quote from the Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton.
Sermon length:
Tara Brach


Credit: Tara Brach.


Credit: Tara Brach.

Short heart meditation from the end of the talk, “Part 1: Universal Faces of Love” (audio and video).


Credit: Tara Brach.

So we begin in a simple way, just to close your eyes and pause and allow yourself to feel your breath, and you might let the breath be felt at the heart.

Create a, an embodied atmosphere for loving kindness. You might let a slight smile come to the mouth, feel the inside of the mouth smiling, let the eyes be soft, and sense you can smile into the heart. You can visualize that curve of a smile spreading through the chest. It's not to cover over but to really allow you to sense that openness and receptivity.

So sensing heart space.

And then letting come to mind someone in your life who's very easy for you to feel appreciation towards, care towards, love towards. Might be a benefactor, someone who's been very kind, someone who you can trust loves you.

And as this person comes to mind, sense that he or she's right here with you, very close.

You can see his or her eyes, the look on the person's face when happy, peaceful.

You can sense the love that that person feels for you.

And take some moments to reflect on whatever goodness, most easy to sense, what you love about this person.

And it might be the way they show love.

It might be the humor, or brightness, honesty, that this person really is dedicated to being awake, or real, or kind.

Sense what you love about this person really close up, so that your appreciation is visceral, that you can feel your appreciation in your heart, your body.

You might let yourself whisper this person's name, and in some way, some either say thank you or I love you, or offer a wish to this person.

You might also feel to add a gesture, perhaps as I described, could be a kiss or a hug or hand on the shoulder.

And feel your deepest prayer for this person. What do you really wish?

Letting yourself be aware of the heart space that opens up as you appreciate and express love.

And then including someone else in this heart space, someone else that is also a person that's important to you, dear to you.

And in the same way, feeling that person right here, seeing the person's eyes, expressions, sensing what goodness really comes forth, what you appreciate or love about this person.

You might sense the way they look when they're expressing love for you, enjoying you, encouraging you.

Or you might sense what they look like when they're filled with happiness or wonder or curiosity or humor.

You might sense the realness, the authenticity, the honesty.

And as you feel your appreciation, see if you feel like your whole body can be filled with that.

And again, mentally whispering the person's name, you might say, thank you, or I love you.

There may be some gesture or expression physically,

Sensing your wish, your prayer for this person.

And including now in this heart space the life that's right here, our own being. And just sensing your own deep aspiration to love well, the goodness of that, the sincerity and purity of that, just to feel that well of gold that shines, that's at the very source or essence of being.

Sense your love of truth, love for awakening, love of love, just appreciating the goodness that's right here.

And sense whatever message or prayer you'd like to offer to yourself in this moment. Your prayer of metta, of loving kindness.

And sensing that heart space as vast, as inclusive, that it includes all of life.

You might sense Thomas Merton's quote, "Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depth of their hearts where neither sin nor knowledge could reach, the core of reality, the person that each one is in the eyes of the divine. If only they could see themselves as they really are.

If only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more need for war, for hatred, for greed, for cruelty.  I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other."

Sensing our shared heart space, those that are here in this room, those that are in places around the world, this shared heart space that's edgeless and vast and includes all of life. Offering our shared prayer to all beings everywhere. May all beings everywhere be filled with loving presence, held in loving presence, know their deepest essence as loving presence.

May all beings everywhere touch a natural and great peace. May all beings everywhere awaken and be free.

Namaste and thank you.


Gathering Agenda

Below is a sample summary and question that could be used for an in-person gathering. Or you can use it inspiration as you craft your own. You know your community best.  


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Gathering Agenda 
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1) A 2-5 minute primer meant to bring new folks up to speed and refresh memories.

2) A handful of carefully selected questions to get your community talking.

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