Metta practice

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

Metta practice

Postby mike1127 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:03 am

Hello, I am not completely new to Buddhism but new to this forum. I have attended several retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I believe they are close to Theravadan, although the teachers (Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstein, Joseph Goldstein, and so on) have adapted the teachings for the west.

I have been practicing metta meditation, and I just wanted to share this image I use when I get to the part about sending metta to my "enemy" (or as we might say, "difficult person.") So I usually start by having a good sense of metta for myself, then a neutral person. Then I have a difficult person in mind. I imagine two buttons in front of me. Pushing one causes harm to my difficult person, and pushing the other makes him a little happier than he is now. Neither button causes any effect to me, not directly. I reflect on the felt sense associated with pushing each button. I ask myself, "What would I choose?" I find that usually I really want to press the button that makes him happier. I start to realize it feels good psychologically, and of course it does me no harm. It does me no harm to wish happiness to another. I think the difficulty we sometimes have in wishing happiness for someone we dislike or envy is that we imagine it takes something away from us. But I just imagine those two buttons, and reflect on how pushing the button that makes him happier really has no negative side-effect. That's all it does. Make him happier.

Also, many teachers I've had mentioned that wishing happiness to your enemies makes a lot of sense, because if they were truly happy, they probably wouldn't be your enemy any more.
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Re: Metta practice

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:20 am

Hi Mike
Nice post!
Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Metta practice

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:21 am

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing your metta technique... it's actually quite touching - I like it.

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, by the way.

:heart:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Metta practice

Postby Guy » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:26 am

:goodpost: Welcome to the forum!
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Metta practice

Postby PeterB » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:27 am

:anjali:
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Re: Metta practice

Postby mike1127 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:44 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. Peace.
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Re: Metta practice

Postby salaatti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:31 am

I would like to send metta to an enemy or a difficult person, but I really don't know any! What should I do?
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Re: Metta practice

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:46 am

Hi salaatti

No problem. Just extend metta to all living beings. There are several techniquess for practicing metta.

Metta: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Metta practice

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:23 am

Ben,

Excellent link! Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Metta practice

Postby Laurens » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:42 pm

Thank you for sharing that, I could feel it working just from reading that without even being at the cushion! I makes a lot of sense.

:namaste:
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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