...it's that guy at work who's hard!
Or the woman on the cellphone weaving between lanes. Or the rabid political commentator. Or the Facebook 'friend' who posts all those terrible jokes. Or the family member who is making your life miserable...
One of the ways that true Loving-kindness or 'Metta' differs from empty affirmations is that it is real and specific. It's not just declaring that you 'love all beings'. That's easy. Anyone can pay lip service to an abstract idea of universal love and fellowship.
It's the specific people who make it hard. That is why our core practice - Metta Bhavana or the 'cultivation of love' is highly specific. We bring real people from our daily lives to mind, and we practice offering them unconditional love.
For most of us that is really hard. But it is that very difficulty that makes the practice worthwhile. It is a true practice, and ongoing commitment to growing our ability to love all beings bit by bit.
In the attached meditation we practice generating loving-kindness for all the people you will meet or interact with in the next few days. It starts with a short introduction then a fully guided 30 minute metta meditation.
If the embedded audio player above doesn't work for you, please click here.
photo credit: Crowded streets of Harajuku, Tokyo via photopin (license)