may you have ease – a meditation

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May you be free of danger.
May you have mental happiness.
May you have physical happiness.
May you have ease of well-being.

Buddhist Metta meditation

I have often heard the suggestion to pray for a person I am angry at or who I resent, as a means of reaching forgiveness and serenity. I have tried it, and it has worked for me, but I've never had a good tool to implement this suggestion. I had encountered this meditation in a different form, but I never thought of using it to pray for the “difficult people” in my life.

The traditional way to use this meditation is to say it first for yourself, “May I be free of danger, …” until it feels true for you. Then you say it for someone who supports you in your life, “May he/she be free of danger …”, until it feels true for them. Then you say it for a “neutral person”, again repeating it until you can feel its truth. And then you say it for a difficult person, having worked your way up through the easier people. You end by saying it for everyone in the world.

I recently read an article written by a person who experienced a transformation in her feelings for her father, who had left her family when she was young. She writes:

With this understanding, loving-kindness floods my heart, and I feel an outpouring of compassion, the release promised by the awakened one.

Dad, may you be free of danger.
May you have mental happiness.
May you have physical happiness.
Dad, may you have ease of well-being.

The heart sees clearly. To truly wish someone well is to see them with our heart, and so experience a change of heart—a transformation not in them but in our relationship to them and in ourselves.

You can read about her spiritual journey.

A meditation for May 30, 2013.


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