More and more I find myself prescribing metta meditaiton to my clients. It’s a simple and practical tool. It’s virtually medicine. It’s good for what ails us. Of course, usually what ails us is some form of self directed discontent. All too often, we take our psychedelics because we feel like there is something wrong with us, and we want to become better. Then, we’re tormented in the sessions by all of the reasons we’re terrible people; “out of alignment” / “needing purification” / whateva. The next day, even as we feel the sense of well being after the ceremony, we’re acutely aware that it won’t last, and we’ll need to be back at it, scratching at our shadow, trying to exorcise all of the parts of ourselves that we find abhorrent.
A Metta Practice, put simply, is the practice of accepting and loving ourselves, each other, the world. We sit, and see what comes up, and extend loving kindness to it. Every aspect of ourselves is received in humility and contentment. It’s almost like we are sitting with a sad child, or a little puppy. Tender and sweet.
This practice, in my experience, cultivates a mindset that is more resilient when it comes to facing psychedelically excavated shadow material. Over time, (months or years, not days) we come to identify more with the being doing the loving kindness than the being who needs it. We create a default of compassion. We were ungrateful to our parents? I love myself anyway. We were dishonest to our lover? I love myself anyway. We have addictive tendencies? – I love myself anyway. It takes time to create this grounded quality, especially when we throw ourselves into the maelstrom of entheogenic revelation, but it’s worth it.
the sages speak of the benefit of metta practice. I’ll put a link to a translation of the Metta Sutta below, and the file contains the 11 benefits. But they include – One wakes in comfort, One has no bad dreams, One dies unconfused. Very relevant.
So, I can’t suggest metta practice highly enough. Please practice it.