"Monks, for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?
"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.
"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."
Practicing Loving Kindness
Often, loving kindness is taught with a formulaic approach. There are certain stock phrases that you say repeatedly, such as “May you be safe and healthy. May you be free from ill will. May you be full of loving kindness. May you be truly happy.” Some people use these traditional phrases or others like them; others customize the phrases to suit their personality, needs, and circumstances.
Whatever phrases you use, you say them in your mind as you direct them towards specific people in the following order:
- close loved ones: family and friends, or spiritual teachers;
- acquaintances: people that you don’t know very well but who are in your life;
- difficult relationships: people that are quite difficult for you; perhaps people who have hurt you or who it’s hard for you to love;
- all life: love for all living beings, human and non-humans, past, present, and future.