Pairing Metta to the breath?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Pairing Metta to the breath?

Postby karunametta » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:28 am

Hello dhamma farers,

I find then when I try to do metta, I can't help but pair each recitation (such as "may all beings be happy) with an in-breath and out breath. Is this bad? Is there anything written about this in the commentaries or in general meditation books about whether or not this is okay or encourage? I try to focus my awareness near my heart while doing the recitations so the rising and falling of my chest can become distracting.

If I had a choice, I think I would prefer to be able to just be with the mental recitations and not pay any attention to the breath as this would allow my mind to be single pointed.

Thank you!
:anjali:
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Re: Pairing Metta to the breath?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:18 am

I've seen metta paired with concentration (of the 7 factors of enlightenment or 5 powers) in (I'm pretty sure) the Samyutta Nikaya. Sorry I can't find it here from the contents of Bks iv and v, and they are not all online yet that I know of. These books aren't mine and are leaving tomorrow...
The sections I'm thinking of were quite brief, basically just saying that concentration and the other factors/powers can be developed accompanied by the brahmaviharas.
Pairing recitation with in-out breaths is not bad, and not necessary. Active experimentation is the only way to do it, and be sure there is development.
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Re: Pairing Metta to the breath?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:46 am

here it is
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
not exactly what you were looking for maybe, but about as close as I've seen in the suttas.

"And how, monks, is awareness-release through good will developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops [...] concentration as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go.[...] If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or he may enter & remain in the beautiful liberation. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through good will has the beautiful as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release."
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