Lovingkindness (or Mettabhavana), is an ancient Buddhist meditation leading to the development of unconditional lovingkindness and friendliness. Metta is something you feel in your heart, a positive emotional state towards others as well as ourselves.
Benefits of Lovingkindness
Metta practice helps us to:
- Bring harmony into our lives and into our relationships
- Rid ourselves of internal and external conflicts
- Overcome lacerating guilt
- Be open to loving acceptance of ourselves and others
- Deepen our connections with all beings
As a result of practicing metta we become more empathetic, more considerate, more kind, more forgiving, and in general, more loving, friendly people.
Who Can Practice Lovingkindness/Metta?
Although it is a Buddhist practice, Lovingkindness Meditation is appropriate for anyone of any belief who wishes to bring more harmony, love, kindness, and friendliness into his or her life.
About the Course
The Vermont Zen Center offers a six-week course in the practice of Lovingkindness Meditation twice a year. It meets on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. (The first class is longer, ending at 8:30 p.m.) Each session includes lectures, meditation instruction, practice periods and discussion. Because the initial class of the six-week series is essential to the course, registration is closed after the first class.
Anyone who completes the Metta Course is welcome to attend monthly lovingkindness meditation sessions. These are held on the second Monday of the month from 7-8 p.m. For more information, please see the Schedule page of the website.
Instructor, Dharman Rice
Dharman was born in Egypt and grew up mostly overseas until he was 12. He earned a Ph.D. in the history of ideas from Brandeis University and is a retired teacher of philosophy and intellectual history. Dharman began practicing Zen in 1988 and was ordained as a Zen priest in March 2009. He has been teaching the course in Lovingkindness for many years.