Mettā or loving kindness is a way to develop positivity and warmth, to leave behind harmful emotions, and to connect with other people at a deeper level. The Buddha described this as liberating, and called it 'freedom of heart'.
Practising mettā can, over time, bring ease, relaxation and delight into our lives, and transform our relationships. Our experiences of ourselves and other people can change for the good in ways we could not have imagined.
The central meditation associated with kindness is the Mettā Bhavana, which means 'the development of loving kindness'. In a series of structured stages, we begin with cultivating kindness towards ourselves (which is deeply important but doesn't always feel easy!) Then we extend empathy and well-wishing towards a range of individuals, broadening out to include all living beings.