The Buddhist attitude is one of loving-kindness (metta), of open acceptance of everything as it is. If we take loving-kindness to its ultimate, all conditioned phenomena are accepted for what they are. That doesn’t mean all things are approved of; they are simply accepted. Everything has to be the way it is in the moment. You can’t say, ‘I don’t want the weather to be like this,’ or, ‘I don’t want things to be this way.’ If you do, you are not accepting the way it is and are creating suffering around something that you don’t like or don’t want.
You can also have loving-kindness for your dislike of the way it is, so you are not even criticising yourself for being critical. Feeling despair and self-aversion for being critical or selfish is another trap of the mind. Even if you are sitting here hating yourself, thinking of yourself as selfish and critical and not a very nice person, you can have metta for that; you can have loving-kindness for the critical mind. Patient acceptance is nonaversion to everything that is happening now.
The Metta Bhavana is a meditation for developing lovingkindness.
“Bhavana” means “cultivation” or “development,” and “Metta” is a word that means “love,” “friendliness,” or “lovingkindness.” So this is a meditation practice where we actively cultivate some very positive emotional states towards others, as well as to ourselves.
This meditation practice helps us to bring more harmony into our relationships with others, so that we experience less conflicts, resolve existing difficulties, and deepen our connections with people we already get on with.
This meditation helps us to overcome anger, resentment, and hurt.
It helps us to empathize more, and to be more considerate, kind, and forgiving. We can also learn to appreciate others more, concentrating more on their positive qualities and less on their faults. We learn to be more patient.
In this meditation practice, we also cultivate Metta towards ourselves, so that we experience less internal conflict, and learn to appreciate ourselves more.