This classic formula for cultivating compassion is an excellent way to bring us back to the fact that mindfulness attention is a kind attention. It is also a great meditation to use at bedtime to sleep great!!
Mindfulness is not a neutral or clinical or objective attention. This guided meditation takes us through several layers of wishing well for ourselves and others. This traditional method of cultivating “metta” is a bit of genius. Using an inner voice, you put voice to a strategically chosen series of well wishing that both taps into established wells of love and spreads the good intentions liberally and indiscriminately, starting from one’s own sense of self and eventually extending to all beings everywhere.
While there may be areas at any point that are conflicted and mixed, that too is part of the work that this meditation does. Some may have mixed feelings about extending good wishes to certain people close to them, or maybe even to themselves. That’s all part of the mix and perfectly fine, as this practice winds itself through you.
A couple tips: don’t worry if you don’t mean it every time (remember its all part of it!) and if one can semi-believe that these good wishes actually could have a effect, that heightens it (but is not necessary).
Have a great time!