Why do we have to start Metta meditation with loving compassion to oneself first and then go to the others?

Two questions:

During the metta meditation, the part about "May I be well, happy, and healthy" doesn't seem natural to me. I guess my spiritual understanding and religious conditioning thus far has been about "blessing and serving  others". So it feels like I'm being selfish when I'm hyper-focusing on me. I understand the concept that we have to be well to give to others, but still it doesn't feel right for some reason...

Secondly, when we send metta to ourselves first, then to this state, country, world, universe, etc... it implies separation of oneself from others. My belief has always been we are just One. Everything is within oneself, and that it's the same energy manifesting in all these beings.

So how do I wrap my head around this one?!

Interesting questions. If you feel comfortable with the way you think, please do so. No worries. In Buddhist Metta practices this technique is mostly followed. So to begin with yourself and then go to others. You have to start with somewhere. So, it is easier to begin with the most comfortable zone. that is oneself. It is important to purify oneself first to start having metta to oneself. without having metta to oneself it is not practical to do it for others. universal love means love to all including oneself. no harm to oneself no harm to all sentient beings.

Response from the participant:

Thank you for the explanation. It helps me to understand it better 😊 And yes, universal love is one of the ultimate goals 🌺


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