metta


When it applies, i’ve started signing off email and letters using “metta” or “with metta”. Metta is a Pali word which means a caring for another independent of all self-interest. It is often translated as unconditional and unattached loving-kindness or just loving-kindness.

As part of the meditation course, we were also taught metta bhavana – cultivation of metta. The technique is simple. First *feel* loving kindness towards yourself, then from that base, extend metta to your loved ones, friends, teachers and enemies. Finally, extend metta to all living beings.

Carrying it out is not so easy. I usually fail at the first stage at which point I do not go further.

Because of this, metta is currently close to my heart and my thoughts as an ideal to develop towards. I have found that in my daily interactions with people, I am more able to feel metta for others. When this occurs in the context of email, I sign off “with metta” or “metta”.

I do not use it lightly.

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