"Lovingkindness is
the profound recognition
that our lives have something
to do with one another,
that everyone counts,
everyone matters."

I’ve found myself critical in nature on and off the mat, so I wanted to uncover in my own practice: the habit of loving kindness. This brought me further to the full 4 faces of the heart: the 4 Brahma Viharas.

  1. Metta // Loving-Kindness

“a gentle, loyal acceptance with a deep sense of appreciation and regard.”"

  1. Karuna // Compassion

“the intention and capacity to relieve and transform suffering, to lighten sorrow.”
”when we are open and able to truly see suffering and are moved to do something about it.”

  1. Mudita // Appreciative Joy

“an antidote to jealousy and envy, allowing us to simply rejoice that another person is experiencing happiness.”

  1. Upekkha // Equanimity

“the balancing factor that keeps us stable in the opening of the heart.”
”helps us not completely base our happiness on the actions and feelings of others.”

My intrigue promises a further deep dive.
But for June, let’s delve into the first face of the heart: Metta: LovingKindness.

This is not the kind of love on the Bachelorette. Or in a teen novel. It’s not passion or emotion.

Rather, metta, is the unconditional wellwishing to one’s Self and others. It’s openhearted nurturing. It’s positivity, kindness and vulnerability.


The Metta Prayer

Traditional metta mediations call us to offer metta to 4 groups.

First to ourselves... Then to our loved ones… Then to neutral people... and lastly and most importantly, to someone we find difficult.

The beautiful part - the winning part! - is that we offer this Metta without any expectations. We offer Metta to these souls where they are - EXACTLY as they are.


On our mats…

The challenge in this intention is to love yourself through every pose, through every success and failure. This celebration of metta can expand to all things everywhere. A spider in your shower to they who have done you wrong.

When our hearts are unconstricted, it’s easier to send and receive love. When we breathe full and deep, Kindness comes easier. No matter what you bring to your mat; resentment, stress tension… practicing with this intention leaves our hearts singing.

“Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness. Ahimsa is Sakti (power). Ahimsa is true strength.”
— Sivananda
Kate Oxler