‘Metta’ is a mental state of unconditional love and friendliness towards all beings. This noble virtue could be a lofty goal for many because we may even struggle to have loving-kindness for those close to us such as our family members, friends and colleagues. Out of habit, our thoughts and reactions are tainted with unpleasant or discriminating views of others.
The cultivation of loving-kindness starts with us dismantling the boundaries around our hearts and minds which we have built throughout the years. These boundaries arose to protect ourselves from the hurt and anger which we think others inflicted on us. Through applying right efforts, this dark shroud around our hearts can be torn down when we let go of our preconceptions and expectations.
Let go of our biases formed due to past negative experiences, and challenge our harmful beliefs in order to accept others as they are. True acceptance rewards us with freedom from unwholesome states such as annoyance, jealousy and hatred. When we remove our aversion and think well of others, we will begin to see the loveliness of all beings and simply feel ‘metta’ for them.