May We All Be Happy

Metta meditation instruction from author and teacher Gil Fronsdal

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May all beings be happy.

May they live in safety and joy.

All living beings,

Whether weak or strong,

Tall, stout, average, or short,

Seen or unseen, near or distant,

Born or to be born,

May they all be happy.

- From the Metta Sutta, Sutta Nipata I.8

Metta, or lovingkindness, is one of the most important Buddhist practices. Simply stated, metta is the heartfelt wish for the well-being of oneself and others. When describing metta, the Buddha used the analogy of the care a mother gives her only child. Lovingkindness is also understood as the innate friendliness of an open heart. Its close connection to friendship is reflected in its similarity to the Pali word for friend, mitta. However, metta is more than conventional friendship, for it includes being openhearted even toward one’s enemies, developed from insight into our shared humanity.

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