Metta Flow

For Open Streets Waterloo 2015, I created a unique space where metta (maitri in Sanskrit), “loving kindness,” meditation could be practiced. Metta meditation entails the cultivation of loving thoughts. There are five main stages of which consecutively gains more and more physical expansiveness as moved through. The objects that the practitioner is called to send love to are as follows:

1) Yourself
2) A loved one
3) A neutral person
4) A difficult person
5) All sentient beings

Some examples of well wishes one may send to the object of choice include: “May I/ you be safe,” “May I/ you be well,” “May you I/ be happy,” “May you I/ have peace.”

If practiced traditionally, the meditator began on the first block at the bottom, and then moved up to the next whenever they felt ready. However, street passerbyers were free to enter and leave the station as they pleased; they were flexible to practice part or all of the meditation depending on what their needs were at the moment. Yoga mats were also provided alongside in case meditators wished to prep their meditation with mindful movement.