What is a Buddhist metta meditation

I remember gratefully those precious moments when I was allowed to lay a newly born child on its mother's stomach and saw the glow in her eyes - or when I was sitting on the bed of a peacefully dying person. In such moments the heart expands, connectedness is just as palpable as warmth of the heart: the energy of metta.

Metta (in Sanskrit maitri) is a state of the "heart-mind", which can be described as "loving kindness", "all-embracing love", "all-goodness", "selfless love", "goodness of the heart", to name just a few possibilities. Metta is the foundation of all Buddhist meditations. Regardless of whether we practice Samatha, Vipassana, Zen, Dzogchen or the like, the essence of the respective practice will not be able to develop without metta. The Buddha compared metta to motherly love. A mother's love and warmth of heart do not depend on certain qualities or behaviors of her child. As long as we are in judgment mode, we create affection and dislike. However, inclination distorts perception and creates fear. Metta is the basic energy of a liberated mind. This spirit is free from the absorption of judgments and concepts. Mother's love says: “I love you because you are.” Conditional love says: “I love you because you meet my ideas and meet my needs.” Conditional love cannot guarantee sustainable well-being. Metta is never hurtful and always ready to forgive.

Thus, metta is true help for others and the world. Metta is the direct antidote to anger, aggressiveness and fear. The latter create trenches, metta fills them up again. Our world suffers from too many internal and external borders and rifts and the associated cold. Kind people give off warmth; we feel protected in their presence. A kind person sees the good in the other person and will behave kindly. As a result, the good in the other can resonate and he can respond out of his good. The more people develop metta within themselves, the more peaceful the world becomes.

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