In the traditional tibetan buddhist training metta (loving kindness) is like a twin with karuna (compassion).
Metta and koruna are pali words and the translation are the two, loving kindness and compassion.
Karuna – compassion – is the desire to remove harm and suffering from others; while mettā – loving kindness – is the desire to bring about the well-being and happiness of others.
You know from yourself that you have this desire to be free from pain and suffering. Karuna is bringing this on to others, the ones you like as well as the ones you do not like, the ones you are close to as well as all the ones that you do not know.
You can bring the karuna/compassion training into your formal practise just like you have done with metta/loving kindness.
Start with yourself and get the feeling of compassion towards yourself. Compassion is very different from being sorry for or having pity with. It is a good idea to contemplate this difference. “May I be free from suffering, may I be free from pain”.
And just like in the metta training you continue with a person you like, “May you be free from suffering, may you be free from pain”.
Follow up with a person you do not like or have a difficult relation, “May you be free from suffering, may you be free from pain”.
And then in the great perspective, everybody, “May you be free from suffering, may you be free from pain”.
It is important that you keep your contact with breath and body during the training and be aware og what feelings it brings to you to desire to remove harm and suffering from the world.
Anne Vinter, 02.06.2020