No, please don’t do that. Let go of the breath completely, as this will help you to get deeper into the meditation. You observe the feeling of Loving-kindness.
Later on you won’t even notice the breath.
Just apply the 6R’s whenever your mind goes to the breath. Stay with only the feeling.
It doesn’t have to be strong – it just needs to be continuous.
Make sure you 6R whenever your mind wanders. So, whenever you forgot you were actually meditating.
Every time you use the 6R’s, the feeling of Metta will be able to grow, as the mind will continue to calm down.
Whether strong or weak, just watch mindfully for the moment the mind starts to wander.
The longer you can stay on your object, the stronger the feeling usually becomes.
Don’t push, just 6R when needed.
I can’t seem to do the Loving-kindness / Metta meditation very well. Is it OK to go back to breath meditation?
We recommend doing Metta; it is much faster, and more pleasant than breathing meditation. Listen to bhante Vimalaramsi’s explanation:
Comparing Metta with breathing meditation
If you have practiced Breath or Anapanasati before, it is likely you didn’t practice it the way we teach it. We teach it using the 6R’s, and the Relax step, which is fundamentally different. It is in line with what the Buddha described as Right Effort.
We prefer people to learn a new type of meditation. That way, you don’t run the risk of accidentally falling back into old habits of suppressing hindrances. Please, don’t even consider breath.
According to Bhante Vimalaramsi, it is almost unheard of if people truly can’t practice Metta meditation. Just stay with Metta – It takes a little bit of practice, that is all.
And besides, this world could do with a bit more Loving-kindness.
If you need more advice, feel free to join our international community. Questions are always answered and you will get a great deal of encouragement from your fellow meditators!
Don’t worry! In the beginning, it can be difficult or awkward to bring up that warm, glowing feeling of Loving-kindness.
These videos may help you to bring this feeling of Loving-kindness back into your meditation:
The feeling doesn’t need to be very strong; a little spark is enough! If you look into the eyes of a baby, do you need to try to feel love? Is it hard to feel it while playing with a puppy? Or while sitting on a bench in a park, on a pleasant day, watching people go by?
Develop this feeling one sit at a time and you will be going down the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. You use the Brahma Viharas to become awakened. Developing a smile will make this practice much easier.
For more information, read this helpful article: