When I first read this today, I thought it such a wonderful example of how secular Buddhism can translate across countries and cultures, that I asked Ramsy if I could post it here. Enjoy, and you can find more of his blogs on secular Buddhism at the Secular Buddhism New Zealand site.  ~ Dana

Loving kindness meditation

Starting to meditate, I was taught two practices and I am very grateful for both of them. The first was a meditation on the breath. Not something that we can easily control, all we do is watch it coming in and going out. Sounds simple but once we try we realize that it ain’t.

The second practice was a loving kindness practice. Known in Pali as ‘metta’, we offer these thoughts firstly to ourselves (most difficult, I found), to a good friend, then a stranger and finally what is known as ‘the difficult person’.


May you be safe, and free from danger
May you be healthy, and free from pain
May you be happy, and free from distress
May you live in this world with easy and goodwill 


With my eyes closed I would imagine the good friend, the stranger and the difficult person sat in front of me as I went through the meditation phrases in my mind.

It started off by feeling a little wooden, but after a wee while the feelings began to feel very heartfelt. Highly recommended.

For those wishing to practice this in te reo Maori, here are the four lines above:

Kia ora koe, mahorahora i te whakawhara
Kia kauora koe, mahorahora i te mamae
Kia hari koe, mahorahora i te pouri
Kia ngawhari, kia ngakaunui tou oranga ki roto i tenei ao.

No Comments

  1. Tom Alan on April 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Mindfulness is the superstar in western psychology, the meditation that gets nearly all of the attention, although Transcendental Meditation is still hanging in there, still the subject of journal articles. I know of an interesting case study with schizophrenics in which one showed improvement with metta therapy. This participant became more outgoing. The authors say that their study should be considered in light of the lack of therapies for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia — things people in general do that patients don’t do.

    I want to emphasize that this is the ONLY evidence I know of that meditation helps people who suffer from schizophrenia. In fact, psychotic reactions suffered by schizophrenics at retreats have been documented (Walsh & Roche, 1979).

  2. Tom Alan on April 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    The reference in my previous post
    Walsh. R., and L. Roche. “Precipitation of acute psychotic episodes by intensive meditation in
    individuals with a history of schizophrenia” American Journal of Psychiatry 136: 1085-1086.

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