When learning Thai Massage, especially when we take training courses in Thailand, we’ll usually get in touch with the concept of Metta. Metta, loosely translated, means something like Loving Kindness or Goodwill, that is, in the case of Thai Massage — the way, spirit or mentality in which practitioners or therapists are supposed to give Thai Massage healing sessions.
Looking closer at the idea and practice of Metta, which is a Buddhist concept, we see that Metta Meditation is an important technique in Buddhism to cultivate both mental and physical well-being. Although the technique is focused on bestowing Loving Kindness on all living beings, in a selfless and altruistic way, it likewise imparts happiness and peace of mind for the practitioner. Metta Meditation cuts both ways.
One of the core practices of Buddhism is the cultivation of a positive mind with properties such as kindness, compassion and mental clarity, which is further related to the ideas of “making merit,” karma, and reincarnation (and of course, in the Buddhist idea, ending the cycle of reincarnation).
Buddhism offers a variety of meditation techniques to cultivate compassion, mindfulness and Metta. Think of techniques such as ZaZen, Vipassana Meditation, and Samatha Meditation, among others. As for Metta Meditation, it’s a practice that actively cultivates positive mental states. Its goal is to counter our negative mental habits and instead of those nurture love, kindness and goodwill to all living creatures — man, animal or plants.
It operates as a form of positive self-suggestion. With this technique, one should not force feelings. It’s more like a concentration exercise by repeating certain positive phrases, mantras or affirmations regularly, which then become a natural part of our thinking, feeling and living.
That what Metta Meditation brings about is the spirit in which Thai Massage sessions ideally should be given — that is, naturally and selflessly bringing kindness, love, joy and eventually healing to the receiver.