A few practical hints are given below to practise this meditation on loving-kindness.
Metta should be practised first towards oneself. In doing so a person should charge his mind and body with positive thoughts of peace and happiness. He should think how he could be peaceful, happy, free from suffering, worry and anger. He becomes ever to learn and tries his best not to give occasion for anger to arise. By loving-kindness, he cuts off all hostile vibrations and negative thoughts. He returns good for evil, love for anger. He becomes ever tolerant and tries his best not to give occasion for anger to any. Himself beaming with happiness, he injects happiness into others not only inwardly but also outwardly by putting his Metta into practice in the course of his daily life.
When he is full of peace and is free from thoughts of hatred, it is easy for him to radiate loving-kindness towards others. What he does not possess, he cannot give to others. Before he tries to make others happy, he should first be happy himself. He should know the ways and means to make himself happy.
He now radiates his loving-kindness towards all his near and dear ones individually and collectively, wishing them peace and happiness and freedom from suffering, disease, worry and anger.
Diffusing his thoughts of loving-kindness towards his relatives and friends, he radiates them also towards neturals. Just as he wished for the dear ones even so he sincerely wishes for the peace and happiness of those who are neutral to him, wishing them freedom from suffering, desease, worry and anger. Finally, though this is somewhat difficult, he should radiate his Metta in the same way towards those(if any) who are inimical to him. If by practising Metta, he could adopt a friendly attitude towards those thought to be inimical towards him, his achievement would be more heroic and commendable. As the Buddha advises-(Admist those who hate, let him live free from hatred).
Starting from himself he should gradually extend his Metta towards all beings, irrespective of creed, colour, or sex, including dumb animals, until he had identified himself with all, making no distinction whatever. He merges himself in the whole universe and is one with all. He is no more dominated by egotistic feelings. He transcends all forms of separatism. No longer confining himself to water-tight compartments, no longer influenced by caste, class, national, racial, or religious prejudices, he can regard the whole world as his motherland and all as fellow-beings in the ocean of life.