Metta is a Pali word which means loving-kindness, or good will. Its Sanskrit equivalent is maitre. Metta is one of the Four Divine Abodes which Buddhists are expected to practice. The other three are karuna (compassion), mudita (appreciative joy) and upekkha (equanimity).
Buddhist meditation masters have conceived of a method to cultivate loving-kindness. It is called Metta Meditation or Loving-kindness Meditation. In practicing Loving-kindness Meditation, we repeatedly recite, in the mind, these verses:
May [someone] be free from enmity and danger
May you be free from mental sufferings
May you be free from physical sufferings
May you be well and happy
(Note: there are many variations of these formulae.)
A teacher told us to add an additional step at the beginning of meditation:
If we have done something that has upset another person, mentally say, “Please forgive me.”
But I can’t help but wonder: Wouldn’t it be better to actually apologize to that person, rather than doing it silently?
I notice that many Buddhist meditators have come to equate metta to Loving-kindness Meditation. This misconception is more evident following the anti-junta demonstration led by monks in
Some Buddhist teachers in
It looks like metta is all about right thoughts. But do we need right actions?