Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

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

Post by Mojo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:02 am

I've been doing the Metta meditation as instructdd in Bhante G's book, Mindfulness in Plain English, but I'm at a point where it seems too chatty for my taste. I've looked at Sharon Salzburg's Metta instructions and though on the more visual side, they still seem too chatty. I'm wondering if there might be any other common set instructions that might dispense with the chattiness all together in lieu possibly for more stringent visualization practice...possibly in the neighborhood of Tonglen practice, but with a more Theravadin sheen to it.

FWIW, here's Bhante G's version. I couldn't find a link to share Sharon Salzburg's instructions with. http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe9.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mindfulness in Plain English wrote:1. May I be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to me. May no difficulties come to me. May no problems come to me. May I always meet with success. May I also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.

2. May my parents " "

3. May my teachers " "

4. May my relatives " "

5. May my friends " "

6. May all indifferent persons " "

7. May my enemies " "

8. May all living beings " "

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daverupa
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by daverupa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:08 am

"He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'"

How about this?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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bodom
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by bodom » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:14 am

daverupa wrote:"He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'"

How about this?
How does this passage from the anapanasati sutta relate to the OP dave?

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Mojo
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Mojo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:26 am

Thank you. Its not exactly what I'm looking for, but I suppose it would work if I subtituted the word heart for mind, though I'm not sure how to best extend it to others.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Goofaholix » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:42 am

I know how you feel, I find the phrases just get in the way.

A technique I was taught that isn't chatty was to repeat the word "lovingkindness" or something similar in the mind in time with your breath, this is not the primary object.

To also bring to mind the people you'd normally bring to mind, just the image or feeling of them, this is not the primary object.

The idea is to generate a feeling of lovingkindness, this is your primary object, just focus on the feeling and use that feeling to create more of a sense of lovingkindness.

Repeating the word "lovingkindness" in time with your breath is just there continuously to support your concentration, it may seem a bit like a mantra and it is, however as the feeling of lovingkindness strengthens and flows the mantra becomes less important.

Something like that.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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bodom
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by bodom » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:03 am

Goofaholix wrote:The idea is to generate a feeling of lovingkindness, this is your primary object, just focus on the feeling and use that feeling to create more of a sense of lovingkindness.
Thanks goof. This is how I learned mettabhavana as well.

Mojon,

You should checkout Bhante G's new book Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English in which he gives more detailed instruction on how to practice lovingkindness meditation. In short, he says that once the warm feeling of lovingkindness is experienced (usually felt in the heart/chest area) during meditation, one is to drop the words, phrases and images and focus directly on the warm physical sensation that has arisen.

I highly recommend checking this book out for more info:

Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... n=&image=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Mojo
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Mojo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:35 am

:thanks: :namaste:

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Cal
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Cal » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:11 am

I certainly find long phrases distracting, and keep it to something like :-
May they be well, may they be happy, may they be free from suffering
repeated while focusing on the relevant person(s) for a period.

In the past, I found instructions from the FWBO (sorry 'triratna') helpful. See this page on words :-
http://www.wildmind.org/metta/methods_one/methods_three
and the sidebar for links on other aspects.

Best wishes
Cal
Right Speech: It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. [AN 5.198]

Personally, I seem to gain the most insight when I am under the most pressure, when life is at its most unpleasant. There is something in me on those occasions which feels that there is nothing left but to be aware of 'this'. Ajahn Sumedho - Don't Take Your Life Personally, p288

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tiltbillings
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:15 am

The simplest thing to do is write your own practice.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Aloka
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Aloka » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:40 am

Hi Mojon

These resources might be helpful:

A guided Metta meditation from Ajahn Sucitto:

http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/9/talk/4730/

An article 'Universal Loving Kindness' from Ajahn Sumedho:

http://www.abhayagiri.org/index.php/main/article/215/

...and a 5 minute Metta meditation instruction from Ajahn Jayasaro:






with kind wishes,

Aloka
Last edited by Aloka on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aloka
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Aloka » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:42 am

Sorry, not sure why the video didn't appear in the above post.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:45 am

Aloka wrote:Sorry, not sure why the video didn't appear in the above post.
Fixed.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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mikenz66
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:46 am

Goofaholix wrote:The idea is to generate a feeling of lovingkindness, this is your primary object, just focus on the feeling and use that feeling to create more of a sense of lovingkindness.
tiltbillings wrote:The simplest thing to do is write your own practice.
I agree. The Suttas say what the result is:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings; Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies, And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded,
It's up to the practitioner to figure out how to cultivate that boundless heart radiating kindness. The point is the boundless heart. Whether this is better developed by initially expressing loving kindness towards yourself , then moving to others (as in the commentaries) or visualising a kitten (as recommended by some modern teachers) to bring up the feeling is a matter of experimentation. As Goof says, in the end it's the feeling one generates that is important, not some particular wording, which, in my experience, can be dropped once one brings up the feeling.

I once attended a coupe of sessions with Bhante Aggacitta http://www.bodhikusuma.com/metta/bhante_aggacitta.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; who guided us through several of the popular approaches, then asked us all to comment on what we found most helpful. It was fascinating to hear how different participants found different approaches more helpful.

:anjali:
Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:34 am

Greetings,
mikenz66 wrote:
So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings; Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies, And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded,
It's up to the practitioner to figure out how to cultivate that boundless heart radiating kindness.
Unsurprisingly I guess, my method is as the Buddha described... no elaborate phrases and sequences, nor freshly blow-dried mammals for me.

I wonder what Mojon will make of the Buddha's instruction.
As Goof says, in the end it's the feeling one generates that is important
:thumbsup:

Spot on... and what works one day may not work tomorrow, which is why I'm not altogether keen on formulaic "chatty" metta processes. Often, it won't even be a case of deliberately sitting down to "do" metta - it will be a wholesome response to something observed and experienced in the non-cushion life - on a train, in the supermarket, caring for a sick child etc.. With a nimble mind and sincerity you can see what's working, see what's appropriate and heart-felt in the given situation, see the extent of the metta cultivated, and adjust and refine as you go.

Smile, and send all your words with metta.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Mojo
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Mojo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:39 am

I was actually thinking of writing my own meditation. I want to make sure it touches all four immeasurables. It will probably be mostly visualization with perhaps a word to be thought on the in or out breath.
Last edited by Mojo on Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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