The following metta loving kindness meditation is based on the work of Debbie Shapiro from The BodyMind Workbook:
Sit upright and comfortably, take a deep breath, close your eyes and relax. First bring your attention to your heart and repeat to yourself, ‘May I be well, may I be happy, may all things go well for me’. Allow the feeling to grow within…releasing guilt, shame, unworthiness or inability to receive. Let love shine. Repeat as many times as you like, ‘May I be well, may I be happy, may all things go well for me’.
In the second stage, direct the loving kindness and compassion you feel towards a dear friend. Repeat several times, ‘May they be well, may they be happy, may all things go well for them’. Feel love radiate throughout your being.
Now direct compassion and loving kindness to a neutral person…you may not even personally know them. Hold this individual in your heart and imagine unconditional love flowing towards them. Repeat, ‘May they be well, may they be happy, may all things go well for them’. Feel love for the unknown for in reality we are all one.
Next, direct loving kindness and compassion to one who might traditionally be considered your enemy, or one you currently have a conflict with. ‘May they be well, may they be happy, may all things go well for them’. Repeat this phrase until you feel your acceptance and love flow to them.
In the last stage, line up these 4 people ~ yourself, your friend, the neutral person, and the enemy. Hold all in your heart until you feel such equal unconditional love that you do not have a preference for one above the other. Now begin to extend compassion outwards to all those in your immediate vicinity and eventually to all beings worldwide, stating ‘May all beings be at peace, may I be at peace with all beings’.