Elaine Jackson guides a heart-warming Buddhist loving-kindness meditation (metta meditation). This meditation uses visualization to bring about our natural state of loving awareness for ourselves and all beings.
Elaine Jackson is the co-founder of the Vajrapani Institute, teaches at Buddhist meditation centers throughout the world, and completed a 3-year meditation retreat in 2014. She has studied with many masters and has been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since 1977. Read more about Elaine and the Vajrapani Institute here.
In addition to today’s meditation, Elaine joined us for an interview to talk about how to integrate the wisdom of Buddhism into our relationships. Watch the short excerpt below or find the whole episode with the link or anywhere you listen to podcasts: Ep. 86 – Buddhist Relationship Advice with Elaine Jackson.
Buddhist Loving-Kindness Meditation Script
Elaine Jackson: The foundation of meditation is our posture. So please, wherever you’re sitting, take a good seat. Sit fully allowing your spine to lengthen and straighten.
And as we bring our awareness into this present time, in this present moment, into this room, into this body, we set our intention.
To engage in the meditation, not just for our own happiness, but in order to be the best we can be to bring as much happiness to the whole world, to all beings as much as possible to actualize our full purpose.
And we let that be our north star.
As we settle into a state of relaxation and peace, I invite you to bring your awareness to the crown of your head and let it begin to slowly descend down.
Through your body, as you release and soften any tension around your eyes, your jaw, the back of your neck and your shoulders, perhaps lift them a bit. And then let them release and soften.
Take your awareness down your arms, to your fingertips, your hands resting gently in your lap.
And then beginning to slowly descend down through your torso.
Your upper back, your mid back, all the way to your sit bones.
Let your belly be soft to receive the full breath.
Floating down your legs to the soles of your feet and the tips of your toes.
Let every cell of the body relax into stillness.
As you feel the places where your body touches the seat with a sense of stability, of safety, of being grounded.
In this present moment, feel the rising and falling of the belly as the body breathes.
Allow yourself to have a sense of gratitude for an opportunity to take a trip inside your mind. To be curious, to be present.
Letting go of hope and fear.
Letting go of expectation.
As you allow the body to breathe, naturally, without force or impedance.
And if it’s available to you, allow your awareness to rest on the sensation of the breath at the tip of the nose. We fine tune our awareness right there.
Like a sentry at the gate, knowing when we breathe out, and when we breathe in.
Aware of the turning points.
If the mind becomes kidnapped by a passing thought or feeling, when you recognize it kindly and gently, bring it back to the sensation of the breath, which is center stage.
Knowing that attention is infinitely renewable.
With this peaceful mind, I invite you to imagine a sphere of light, which is a manifestation of universal love appearing before you.
And this might be your teacher or someone who manifests the greatest good for you, appearing as a light body, or it might simply be the light of love. Love is wishing the beloved to have happiness and all it’s causes.
And then think may I and all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May I and all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May I and all beings never be separated from the happiness that is without suffering.
And may I and all beings abide in a state of equanimity free from the bias of attachment and hatred.
Please, may I be blessed? To actualize this.
Now allow this light of goodness, love, compassion, and wisdom to become small, the size of a Robin’s egg, and to come to the crown of your head.
And then very slowly, softly and gently begin to descend down to fulfill your wish, coming down through the center of your body and resting gently at the level of your heart.
A small sphere of warm light whose nature is love.
And as you inhale, allow the light to become activated and as you exhale, experience it expanding.
It’s warm. It’s peaceful. It’s loving and kind.
As you inhale think, may I be well and happy?
And as you exhale and it expands, think may I realize my full potential.
On the breath, it continues to become energized and to expand until it becomes uncontainable and we experience it gently passing through all of our pores in all 10 directions, creating an aura of love around us.
And we know we are loved
And it is our nature to love.
Allow that sense of loving kindness to completely fill you up.
And then bring to mind someone you care about, a loved one.
Let them be before you.
And as you inhale, think may you be well and happy.
And as you exhale, may you realize your full potential.
See this loving light beginning to fill them as well.
Removing any obstacles.
Inhaling, obstacles removed, energizing your love. Exhaling, they receive everything they need to actualize their full potential. How wonderful.
Now bring to mind someone with whom you have difficulty, someone with whom you don’t share the same worldview.
Someone whose mere name gives you a headache. And as they appear before you realize that just like you, they long for happiness and freedom from suffering, just like you, they have joys and sorrows.
As you inhale, think may you also be well and happy.
And as you exhale, may you realize your full potential.
See them receiving this.
Watch the transformation.
And then bring to mind someone you don’t know, you might call a stranger. Perhaps it’s the clerk at the grocery store or the homeless man on the corner.
And once again, think just like me, you want to be happy.
So think as you inhale, removing any obstacles to their happiness and as you exhale, giving them all the causes of happiness.
And now allow that light to continue to expand out until it wraps around the whole world.
May we all be well and happy.
Maybe we all realize our full potential.
Let it spread out into the universe, into the multiplicity of universes.
May everyone everywhere be happy.
May everyone everywhere realize their full potential.
And then gradually like breath on a mirror, let this light begin to contract back from the outside edge.
Until, once again, it’s the size of the room
Then the size of your body, everything dissolving in its wake. And even this body dissolving into this small sphere, which becomes smaller and smaller until it becomes imperceivable
And we rest in the clear luminous knowing nature of awareness.
And then we may close by imagining a world filled with joy.
In which we leap from bed excited to explore the day.
Where nature’s beauty surrounds us and everyone we meet inspires us with their generosity and love.
Then think. my goal is to live in such a world and where I don’t find it to help create it.
Let me always go kind.
And when you’re ready, open your eyes, begin to feel your body.
And be an agent of kindness.
Dedicate to the realization of that wish.
Led by Elaine Jackson
Produced by Tara Anderson and Scott Snibbe
Audio mastering by Christian Parry and Chris Boulton
Digital Production by Jason Waterman