On Saturday afternoon before he gave his Dhamma talk and meditation, Bhante Saddhasara and I had a discussion that covered, among other things, how to do meta meditation. The phrases used in the Mahamevnawa lineage are basically variations of those with which most Buddhists in the Theravada tradition would be familiar but it is the application and understanding of what is happening that is unique.
In all of the other approaches I have ever learned (with the possible exception of the technique described by Sharon Salzberg), one is asked at some point to switch ones focus from the words to the feeling of metta. Bhante explained that this was more of less breaking the development of concentration and opening the door to mental proliferation-a fact which squared with my own experience.
In essence, Bhante explained that the purpose of metta is to train the mind to So, for as long as it takes to develop the mediation to habituate the mind to thinking in this way as well as leading to jhana. I have been practicing with this technique for the lay few days and am having some difficulty with memorizing the words exactly as they are (my mind keeps offering reasonable alternatives) but I intend to stick with it until I reach what seems to be first jhana. At that point I can see if it makes sense to continue our switch.