Loving Kindness – An Alternative Version
The writings of Thich Nhat Hanh offer a different version of Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta (Pali). This version may be influenced by Buddhaghosa in Visuddhimagga (or The Path to Purification, fifth century system of The Buddha’s teachings). The reality of no-self, or a static, permanent and inherent self is a core teaching of Buddhism; however, humans do experience life in Samsara via their perceived self – the experiencer of events and circumstances. Sensory awareness and mental formation make our realities. It is important to know yourself well, thus it is important to go deeper and deeper into the sources of your self-experiences. Negative emotions and feelings cause great suffering; fears and internal turmoil prevent happiness. To move beyond suffering, we need to understand and experience self-compassion and self-love. Our best hope may be the regular practice of Loving Kindness Meditation, especially if we are able to feel (interoception) the words as they transform inner body feelings and mind-thoughts. Here is a version of loving kindness. Try it. I have made several of my own adjustments in wording.
May I be free from suffering, aversion, and emotional conflict.
May I be mindful of peace and affection.
May I experience the inner light of my soul and feel safe.
May I learn from the loving spirit of myself.
May I be free from all afflictions, including greed, craving, fear, anger, and negative moods.
May I practice freeing myself from the skandhas of form (body), feelings, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.
May I learn to be at peace in impermanence when such things arise.
May I liberate myself from the suffering of my own “second arrows.”
May I allow myself the inner joy of silence.
May I accept and love myself.
May I be happy.
For more information refer to Thich Nhat Hanh (2014). No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering. Parallax Press.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness