I was introduced to Metta practice in Dec 2012 when I did vipassana meditation for the first time. It is the compassion practice which starts with self. I talk in detail about the practice in my earlier blog.
According to the Buddha, there are eleven benefits for who practice Metta:
- You will sleep well
- You will wake with ease
- You will enjoy your dreams
- People will love you
- Celestial beings will love you
- Celestial beings will protect you
- You will be safe from external dangers
- Your face will be radiant
- Your mind will be serene
- You will be clear and unconfused at the time of your death
- You will be reborn in a higher and happier realm
I had an informal practice of Metta meditation. I knew its great to do it at night before going to bed. When I can’t sleep, I will start Metta meditation and drift off to sleep before I finish. I decided to do a dedicated 20mins Metta meditation practice before bed one day. The night I did it, I fell asleep shortly after and I work up one hour before my wake-up time. I had all this extra time that I could practice mindfulness meditation with ease. This was a huge shift. My body didn’t need an extra hour. I was well rested, so I could meditate with ease. Mindfulness is described in many ways but I like my teacher Heather Stang‘s explain it as falling awake to the present moment.
S.N.Geonka says in the 10-day vipassana discourse that the benefits of walking on the path of dhamma are felt immediately. Dhamma is translated as the law of nature but I understand it as the path to enlightenment taught by Buddha. That’s the first thing that came to me when I woke up easily and meditated. Since then I have noticed that every time I do Metta meditation at night, I wake up with ease the next day.
If you want to bring more mindfulness into your life during your awake hours, doing Metta meditation may set you on the path. There are so many benefits to this type of meditation. Starting with compassion for self is huge!