Sharon Salzberg’s book provides a detailed account of the practice of Metta, with chapters on how to approach each categorical person and on ways to create variations in the practice. Very well-written and very helpful.
Lessons for Yogis:
1) Mind states – such as happiness – are actually a function of our being: “they are not a function of how much we have or what we have. This is one of the big ironies of desire. There are so many things that we have, and that we do have, without the suffering of attachment, without compromise or loss. These are inner qualities such as love, faith, wisdom, and peace.” So, happiness has less to do with our external situation, but our internal, mental disposition.
2) The miracle of non-reactivity – we can discover a special way of being content by being present with an unpleasant experience in the moment: “How was I relating to it? Was there grasping or aversion or delusion? Or was there acceptance, letting go? Was there bondage or was there freedom?”
3) In a loving-kindness meditation, we are concentrating on sending positive intentions to others. There’s great variations on the loving-kindness mediation, including extending lovingkindness in each direction. Maybe try this one while you’re walking – and wish these intentions in the direction you’re walking, North, East, South, West!
I’ve got a copy to lend (I think it’s in North Carolina right now). I got to see her speak at an event called Buddhafest.
She’s also written a book called Real Happiness.