This month we shine a spotlight on Lovingkindness practice. You may have heard of Lovingkindness, or Metta, meditation. You may have even practiced it in Yoga class at some point. The goal of Lovingkindness practice is to cultivate feelings of goodwill toward all beings, including yourself. But do you know where the practice came from?

The story goes that Lovingkindness practice came about because of the Buddha’s response to a group of monks who were scared. These monks had gone to a remote forest to engage in intensive meditation practice, but when they arrived, they began hearing strange noises and seeing scary spirits. They immediately ran from the forest and asked for Buddha’s help.

The Buddha taught them a Lovingkindness technique and instructed them to go back to the forest and cultivate Lovingkindness for the scary spirits. The monks returned to the forest and began to practice the Lovingkindness meditation they were taught. Soon the spirits became benevolent and friendly to the monks and the monks’ fear dissolved. The monks stayed in the forest for a long time, living in harmony with the spirits.

When we practice Lovingkindness, we can reap the same benefits. We begin slowly, cultivating benevolence and friendliness until it’s a mental state that arises effortlessly from within us. Soon, it becomes natural to greet all living beings with kindness and friendliness, including ourselves.

Learn how to practice Lovingkindness here

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The Infinite Light Staff