“Go forth on your path, as it exists only through your walking.” ~St. Augustine
Metta is a word in Pali (the language of the Buddha) that signifies compassion, love, friendship, and kindness. Empathy for ourselves and all beings. The first and last goal of this human life is metta. It’s easy to remember in Spanish, because the the Spanish word for “goal” is “la meta.”
Passion is exciting and fun; I love passion. To fall, to lose my balance and later discover it anew, to forget myself in something – or someone. But compassion is what I want above all. Meta in each moment — the simple ones as well as the complex and difficult ones — is what we need.
Through the practice of yoga, I cultivate compassion for my feet, my weak ankles, my strong legs, and my right knee that sometimes hurts in the morning. Compassion for my belly, which is a little chubbier than I’d like. Compassion for my chest, my back, my shoulders that carry so much. Compassion for my neck, so full of stress all week long. Compassion for my face and all its imperfections, my lips, my nose, my brown eyes that don’t work without glasses, my forehead, my hair on good hair days as well as ugly ones. Compassion for my mind and all the thoughts that pass through it. All my feelings and sensations passing by and floating away into the invisible. Compassion for my heart, which is usually open but at times damaged and shut.
When I have compassion for all that I am in this moment, I can extend this compassion to others. Each person in this world wants peace, happiness, and freedom from suffering just like me. Each of us suffers in great and small ways.
Just as I love my parents and friends, I should love every human, every animal, every plant and every rock on our marvelous Earth.
If I can remember at any moment that all people, of any age, from any city or village, of any color or situation are really exactly the same as me, I instantly obtain my goal: metta!