This is part of The Daily Meditation Experiment, where I am practicing one school of meditation per week to understand the overall structure & effects of each.
Also, this post is not nearly a week after it’s predicessor. Sorry about that. I fell off the meditation routine and it took me about 1.5 months to get back into it.
Meditation Method: Loving Kindness (Metta)
I sit on a cushion, eyes closed, for 20 minutes, listening to theta wave binaural beats.
I breathe deeply & naturally, focusing on my breath and on allowing my thoughts to pass through me without capturing me, just as I did in Vipassana.
Once my thoughts are clear, I begin to envision in detail what I would like my life to be like. I mentally repeat the words “I hope that I have X”. I then do this with someone I love. Then someone I don’t really care about. Then someone I don’t like.
I practiced loving kindness meditation on and off from June 1st, 2015 to July 20th, 2015.
I didn’t enjoy this one at all, nor see much benefit from it. It doesn’t feel like meditation so much as it feels like thinking (about good things that could happen to people).
I did notice that anger at people would decrease after I did a loving kindness meditation session featuring them. I would feel that I understood that they were nothing more than humans trying their best, and that I wished them well.
Beside that small increase in empathy & decrease in anger, though, I did not notice much postive effect. My focus was not increased, it was not very enjoyable at any point, I did not feel clear headed afterwards.
- Slightly increased empathy.
- Decreased anger.
Loving kindness meditation definitely isn’t for me. I found it boring and without much benefit.
I can see how it can be useful in gaining empathy and calming anger. But these improvements are not priorities in my life, and I the meditation style seems to lack any benefits besides that.