Google+
Not to be Missed

Heart Sutra Meditation and the Metta Prayer

Guided Meditations for Happiness

 

The Heart Sutra Meditation and the Metta PrayerI have chosen share two forms of the lovingkindness meditation, in Guided Meditations for Happiness, because they have been the most transformational, that is, they’ve had the greatest impact for me personally, of all the self-guided meditations.

The lovingkindness meditation is a practice that is particularly well suited for helping you handle challenging relationships with grace.

The Heart Sutra Meditation and the Metta Prayer are meditations that calm the heart and open it to peace, harmony, happiness and love, the home of true freedom and Bliss.

This meditation or prayer can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their spiritual or religious belief. This practice will work even if you have no personal spiritual belief. The Heart Sutra Meditation is a meditation of compassion, which has been scientifically proven to alter brain chemistry.

If you are just beginning to meditate or if this is the first time using a self-guided meditation technique, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.

This makes it easier when you’re first starting out. Later, as you become practiced, you’ll be able to easily “slip in,” no matter where you are.

Begin by finding a comfortable place to sit, and take three deep breaths and close your eyes.

The Heart Sutra Practice

Begin by remembering a time when you felt great love.

It can be a memory of a special situation (like the birth of a child) or a person.

Remember in as much detail as you can. Allow the energy of love to grow and expand.

Bring those feelings into the heart region of your body.

Now holding these feelings of love in your mind’s eye see the person or situation that’s the source of these feelings.

Sitting with the memories – repeat the following phrase.

May you feel protected and safe.
May you feel contented and pleased.
May your body support you with strength.
May your life unfold smoothly and with ease.*

Now let go of that person or situation but continue  to feel the love generated by your memories, however, this time imagine yourself.

Bring in those feelings of love while you’re holding the picture of yourself.

And repeat:

May I feel protected and safe.
May I feel contented and pleased.
May my body support me with strength.
May my life unfold smoothly and with ease.

Again continuing to hold on to the feeling of love, shift your inner gaze to some for whom you hold no judgments, good or bad, someone who creates a neutral impression in your heart.

Then repeat:

May you feel protected and safe.
May you feel contented and pleased.
May your body support you with strength.
May your life unfold smoothly and with ease.

The final recipient of your lovingkindness meditation holds a greater challenge, because as you continue to feel in your heart the love you’ve cultivated, you must allow in someone who you have resistance too.

Then repeat:

May you feel protected and safe.
May you feel contented and pleased.
May your body support you with strength.
May your life unfold smoothly and with ease.

If this is your first time practicing this meditation, I would recommend that you choose someone who’s been more of an irritation rather than the source of deep suffering. Later, after your practice has evolved, then open your heart to those who have wounded you more deeply.

This is a very powerful practice, but it must be done consistently to get real world results.

This practice will produce results, and believe me they’ll seem almost magical when they do.

The second version of the Metta Prayer is one of inclusion and expansion. It is a reminder of our connectedness to each other and to the entire natural world. It is an all-inclusive, bonding meditation reminding us that all species share the desire for life.

The Metta Prayer for All

Guided Meditations for HappinessUse the same instructions to begin the meditation, sit quietly and in a comfortable position with eyes closed.

It would again be helpful to begin by allowing good feeling memories to arise.

Then begin the meditation by saying to yourself:

May I be peaceful
May I be happy.
May I be safe.
May I awaken to the light of my true nature.
May I be free.

Then as you repeat the phrase do it on behalf of someone you know and love saying:

May you be peaceful
May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you awaken to the light of my true nature.
May you be free.

Next, you’ll begin to expand the prayer, to an acquaintance – someone you know, but not well, saying:

May you be peaceful
May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you awaken to the light of my true nature.
May you be free.

The next step is to offer the prayer to someone you’ve just encountered, a stranger. Again repeat:

May you be peaceful
May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you awaken to the light of my true nature.
May you be free.

Now continue and take it to the next level; and how many levels you take it too, are up to you. You can offer it up to your social network, your community, your town, your county and state, out to the whole country and then to the whole world saying:

May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of my true nature.
May all beings be free.

Both versions of the lovingkindness meditation, the Heart Sutra and the Metta Prayer, you will, with practice, be able to complete in a few minutes.

As with anything new, the meditations may seem a bit strange at first and it will take time in the beginning to notice results, but allow yourself to be open.

You can use it to create “space” in challenging situations or you can extend the length of your practice to deepen your compassion and increase your wellbeing and happiness.

* I discovered this particular version in Stephen Cope’s beautiful bookThe Wisdom of Yoga.”

Comments are closed.