Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by Akashad » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:46 pm


I'm thinking of changing my practice from Anapanasati to Brahmaviharas.I am just curious has anyone ever taken Brahmavihara as their main object? What were the results. I'm interested in long term brahmavihara practice.Like for the rest of this life.If this is your meditation object not as a secondary meditation.Taking it as your main meditation object or as a vehicle to insight instead of the breath.How did you find it?

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Re: Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by befriend » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:26 pm

I practiced metta for 3 hour sessions 3 days in a row. As my sole practice. When I stopped on the 4th day my hindrances exploded I felt like a heroin addict. Because what Samatha does is temporarily suppress the hindrances. But when you stop they all just burst out like a jack in the box. My late teacher told me a story of a practitioner who only practiced Samatha his whole life he stopped at one point and the defilements came up so strong he killed someone. That's why serenity and insight should be practiced in conjunction. Stable the mind with love then watch everything arise and pass.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Re: Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by Crazy cloud » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:47 pm

I haven't taken intentionally to BV, but general practice lead me into an intensive period of deep BV practice (3 months), and the power and effects of that practice left me speechless - now practice is "normal" again, but the result of doing this has been harvested.

But I didn't choose it, it arises when everything was ready here
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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Re: Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:51 pm

Sole practice of the Brahmavihara's is recognized in the canon as not being the path of the Buddha. The Buddha in a past life taught, promoted and practiced the Brahmavihara's as a sole vehicle, and all that it resulted in was a pleasant next birth, but not freedom from suffering. I'd recommend at least blending breath meditation and the Brahmaviharas. Personally, I do about 30 minutes of good will or equanimity meditation daily followed by 30-40 minutes of breath meditation. I have traditionally had a lot of problems with ill will, aversion, etc so I find its a good antidote to some of that at least :)

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Re: Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by _anicca_ » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:26 am

The brahmaviharas are just used to counter another unwholesome state (for instance, metta to counter ill-will) and they aren't meant as a main practice.

The abhidhamma describes the brahmaviharas as only being useful for people of a certain temperament.

However, a kamatthana - like anapanasati or the various forms of vipassana - are suitable for all temperaments.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."


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Re: Brahmaviharas as a main meditation Practice?

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:11 am

It worked quite well for the bodhisatta.

“Monks, don’t be afraid of acts of merit. This is a synonym for what is blissful, desirable, pleasing, endearing, charming–i.e., acts of merit. I directly know that, having long performed meritorious deeds, I long experienced desirable, pleasing, endearing, charming results. Having developed a mind of good will for seven years, then for seven eons of contraction & expansion I didn’t return to this world. Whenever the eon was contracting, I entered the [realm of] Radiance. Whenever the eon was expanding, I reappeared in an empty Brahma-abode. There I was Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Unconquered Conqueror, Total Seer, Wielder of Power. Then for thirty-six times I was Sakka, ruler of the gods. For many hundreds of times I was a king, a wheel-turning emperor, a righteous king of Dhamma, conqueror of the four corners of the earth, maintaining stable control over the countryside, endowed with the seven treasures1 –to say nothing of the times I was a local king. The thought occurred to me, ‘Of what action of mine is this the fruit, of what action the result, that I now have such great power & might?’ Then the thought occurred to me, ‘This is the fruit of my three [types of] action, the result of three types of action, that I now have such great power & might: i.e., generosity, self-control, & restraint.’”
- Iti 22

Pay careful attention to the karaniya metta sutta. Don't diffuse too much your boundless, radiating love by dividing it among yourself and friends, neutrals and hostiles. This mental construction greatly limits the absorption you may reach from this practice.
bodom found these, ... .than.html ... .than.html
I can't remember where else mettā and jhānas are taught together, but this paper well explains. ... _Heart.pdf
If you want to be free of suffering, this will do that for you.

I hope you don't mind my inclusion of the karaniya mettā sutta, as it is just perfect and contains instructions oft overlooked.
Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 23.07.59.png
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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