eindoofus wrote:do you happen to know of any good resources for learning Metta and possibly any crutches for a beginner? For example, I know Zen teachers sometimes recommend that beginners count their breath in order to assist in focusing on it.
Hi eindoofus. Metta medition should be quite easy to focus on, as it is often quite discursive. I would say metta is good, but all four brahmaviharas is better.
Depending on your temperament and personal preference you might prefer to learn the brahmaviharas through these chants, which I like to do .http://feeds.amaravati.org/chantingbook ... -37%29.mp3http://feeds.amaravati.org/chantingbook ... 039%29.mp3http://feeds.amaravati.org/chantingbook ... 043%29.mp3
There are also recordings on the abhayagiri website if you prefer.
There are probably many good talks and books out there as well. I can't recommend any in particular, but I know Ayya Khema has written and talked about metta extensively. Perhaps this will get you going: http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Love/love.htmlhttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#basic
There are many other books and articles on those websites, incase you are unaware of them - but they do have a Theravada focus.
Metta is basically there to counter ill-will - against yourself, and others, which will of course benefit your concentration practice.
A good practice is to mentally wish that those who you meet to be well, happy and free from suffering as and when you meet them. Sympathetic joy (mudita) would also help counter feelings of selfishness and an uncaring attitude.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."