I speak and write often about the practice of Metta, or loving kindness, meditation. Here the Venerable Ananda Maitreya addresses Metta beautifully and stresses that there are many ways to practice Metta. He explains how the Buddha responded when others abused him, and his shining example offers us an alternative to how most of us tend to respond in similar circumstances.
Good will, loving-kindness, friendliness, a friendly feeling, metta. How do you practise metta? You start by trying to understand the value of your own life; you must see how much you love yourself. The dearest thing for every individual in the world is their own life. Therefore, first of all, feel the love for yourself. I do not mean carnal appetite when I use this word ‘love’; I mean good will and benevolence. You must hope for the welfare of your own life.
Anyone who doesn’t love himself or herself cannot love others. First practise love for yourself, and then extend that very same love to your nearest and dearest — your child, for example. Do this until you feel that there is no difference between your child and yourself. Then go a little further and try to feel love for, say, a brother. Again, do this until you…
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