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World Day of Metta – March 22, 2023

World Day of Metta takes place every year on March 22. The occasion is one to remind humans about love and acceptance for others and themselves, while also taking a moment of quiet introspection. Metta is a principle under Buddhism that encourages all people to practice unconditional love and benevolence for all beings in the universe. Organizers of this holiday request that people everywhere contemplate, meditate upon, or pray to offer Metta to all living beings in the world. Regardless of your faith, take this day as a chance to reflect on the power of love that can change the world.

History of World Day of Metta

The term ‘Metta’ means benevolence and love for all other living creatures. The World Day of Metta calls for people from all walks of life to take an hour or two of their day to practice Metta Meditation — this is to take place from noon until 2 p.m., local time. Some people use the time to do silent meditation, while others feel that this benevolence is something they need to put into practice with other people.

The origins of Metta can be traced through the mythology of the Buddhist religion. Reportedly, the idea was popularized when a group of 500 monks settled in a forest for a rain retreat. While there, the monks felt unwelcome and unwanted by the spirits of the forest and eventually returned to Buddha, explaining the fear that being there had incited and begging him not to make them return. Buddha taught them to meditate with an open mind and heart, to be welcoming and warm before sending them back. Upon returning with the new teaching of Metta, the monks found that the spirits now welcomed them. After that, the monks continued to build their beliefs and practices based on the Metta principle.

It is important to remember that Metta is intended to be a daily practice and not just some symbolic word of faith. Metta is not just teaching yourself to love all other beings but to be accepting of them too, regardless of whether you know them or not. The principle demands complete love and acceptance without conditions. This means encouraging people to reflect on what it means to love everyone without judgment or conditions and push themselves to learn how to do it. Regardless of how people choose to enact Metta in their lives, it is a positive ideal to embrace in your life.

World Day of Metta timeline

Sixth Century
The Start of Buddhism

Buddhism starts sometime in the sixth century, founded by Siddhārtha Gautama.

455 B.C.
The Initial Followers

Siddhārtha Gautama or ‘Buddha’ gains his first followers.

261 B.C.
The Move to a State Religion

Emperor Ashoka adopts Buddhism as India’s state religion.

1959
The West Accepts Buddhism

After the Tibetan Uprising causes the Dalai Lama to flee Tibet, the West takes an interest in Buddhism.

21st Century
The Continued Growth of Buddhism

Buddhism is practiced by approximately 488 million people, around nine to 10% of the global population.

World Day of Metta FAQs

What does Metta mean in meditation?

It means loving-kindness meditation.

Why is metta important in the Buddha's teaching?

Buddhists teach this principle in order to help others be free from suffering.

What are the four core types of mindfulness in Buddhism?

In the early Buddhist texts, mindfulness is explained as being established in four main ways: to the body, the feelings, the mind, and the principles or phenomena.

How to Observe World Day of Metta

  1. Show kindness and love

    The whole point of World Day of Metta is to introduce yourself and others to the principle of Metta. So, do what you can to be more loving and accepting of others around you.

  2. Engage in active introspection

    Take your time to think about why you struggle to open your heart and mind to the world. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help in the process.

  3. Pratice self-love

    Metta is about unconditional love and acceptance for all living creatures. That includes you so extend yourself some kindness.

5 Facts About Buddhism

  1. Buddha was a prince

    Buddha was originally born as a prince who would inherit his mother’s throne and father’s status as chieftain.

  2. No god in Buddhism

    Buddhism is a nontheistic religion — it means there is no deity worshipped and the followers saw Buddha as a teacher, not a god.

  3. Buddha is a state, not a person

    Any person can become Buddha, as the word is a term for one who is enlightened, and is not confined to a single person.

  4. No life after death

    Buddhism is one of the few faiths that does not believe in atonement or suffering after death — only the present is guaranteed.

  5. No centralized Buddhism

    There is no central point of Buddhism, all of the temples are independent and stem from different schools of Buddhism.

Why World Day of Metta is Important

  1. It shares culture

    The holiday encourages people to explore a culture that’s not their own. So go on, broaden your horizons and learn about how someone else lives.

  2. The world needs more love

    With the world the way it is, we need all the love and acceptance we can foster. It aims to foster a kinder world and that’s pretty amazing.

  3. It encourages growth

    While the principles of Metta may seem difficult and unreasonable they are worth the effort. They teach us empathy and understanding which aims to make us better people.

World Day of Metta dates

YearDateDay
2023March 22Wednesday
2024March 22Friday
2025March 22Saturday
2026March 22Sunday
2027March 22Monday

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