Page 1 of 1

LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:18 am
by Kareem
I have been practicing loving kindness toward myself the past few weeks. It is helping a lot. The next step is offering lovingkindness to a benefactor (someone who has been a great help to you in your life). I have chosen a Buddhist teacher whose books and guided meditations have helped me and for whom I have a lot of gratitude and esteem.

When I repeat the phrases toward my chosen benefactor I don't feel connected to the intentions and words because I don't notice the suffering in this individual.
This teacher is noticably happier and more at ease then most.

My biggest question is: Do you have to be aware of anothers suffering in order for lovingkindness meditation to be effective?

I would be very thankful for any suggestions or ideas on how to approach this dilemma.

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:45 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Kareem,
Kareem wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:18 am
My biggest question is: Do you have to be aware of anothers suffering in order for lovingkindness meditation to be effective?
No, actually, in this aspect at least, you're mistaking compassion (karuna) for loving-kindness (metta).

Metta works for all, but if you like, you could also cultivate sympathetic joy (mudita) towards this person.

Metta,
Paul. :)

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:45 am
by paul
"Lovingkindness…embracing all beings, knowing well that we all are fellow wayfarers through this round of existence — that we all are overcome by the same law of suffering."—“The Four Sublime States”, Nyanaponika Thera.

The law of universal suffering underlies everything and is embodied in the first noble truth, so it is the deepest and most natural basis for practising metta. Suffering is the only thing that all living beings have in common and sexual ‘union’ between two people is a superficial delusion as every individual is ultimately alone.

This insight contemplation separates conventional and ultimate views of social relationships.

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:57 am
by Kareem
Thanks so much for the feedback! Seeing that there is a difference between compassion (karuna) and loving-kindness (metta) has cleared a lot up for me. 😀

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:26 am
by Sam Vara
Kareem wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:57 am
Thanks so much for the feedback! Seeing that there is a difference between compassion (karuna) and loving-kindness (metta) has cleared a lot up for me. 😀
You might be interested in the following accounts of the "Four Sublime States". The first is rather old-fashioned but has sutta references and some reflections which I like:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el006.html

The second is a bit more polemical but is based on some good practical advice:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... heart.html

My favourite is this one:
http://ajahnsucitto.org/articles/cultivating-empathy/

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:54 pm
by paul
Like everything in Theravada, meditation on lovingkindness can be directed to either insight or tranquility. If towards insight, then it deals with the attitude to social relationships as in my post above. If towards tranquility, then the meditation on the good qualities of a teacher would serve as a starting point for absorption.

Re: LovingKindness toward a benefactor

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:47 am
by Dhammarakkhito
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=31557&hilit=refutation

mettā is self-abnegating, boundless love for all beings. if anything, start with your enemies; dont put up boundaries