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What is Metta?

What is metta

This beautiful 5 letter word is at the heart of everything we do at Still Light. Yet it is one of those Indian words that is said to have no easy English equivalent. I have generally tried to describe it as ‘loving kindness and compassion’. The kind of feeling you get when you want to help a stranger in need and that compels you to do your utmost to help loved ones succeed. It is that universal wish, that great feeling we have to see others do well, for people to live without pain, for people to feel good and find comfort in life.

It comes with no promise of any reward or personal advantage.

It is the reason I know with 100% confidence that every single person reading this can excel at giving Thai Massage and skilled compassionate touch.

We are all experts in metta

Our body consists of more than 75 trillion cells. That is a staggering amount if we stop and think about it. And each one of those cells is an individual with an end and a beginning. Each cell has its own mitochondria or micro-sized power plant that allows for unique potential. And at the same time each cell works in harmony with each of the other cells. Nowhere is this more true than when we are injured and some part of the body no longer works as well, or stops working altogether.  For example it was a real eye opener to learn that we can function without our stomach and still eat pretty much anything we want (within reason) and do anything we want. Our body knows just what to do and will support itself through anything to the point where most functional decline can be slowed and even reversed. That is the power and potential in each of our cells to come to our rescue. And it has been going on since the moment we came into existence and probably a lot longer than that.

To have a baby –now 13 months old!- and watch her learn how to do anything is a reminder of this lesson again and again. She doesn’t have to think about any action, which is a good thing since she doesn’t have that capacity just yet for most of the things she’s figuring out on a daily basis. All she has to do is try something, give herself and her body a chance to process what happened and then she’ll be better the next time and soon enough noticeably better. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a month depending on the activity, but it happens again and again.

Maybe this all sounds obvious and maybe it is, but it is also incredibly powerful information and it means that we have the ability to do pretty much anything we want. And getting really skilled at something like touch or Thai Massage is one of those things that shows us the way. It helps us to give back, to help people we care about to feel better, to connect with this force of metta and gain confidence with so many of the other challenges that come up in our life. That is why I am motivated every day to share this thing that I love with all of you.

If you’d like to try a metta meditation there are many options on You Tube, but here is one I like that is short, gives you a good introduction and is an easy place to begin. Click here to get started: Metta Meditation


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