Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

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daverupa
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by daverupa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:29 pm

Mojon wrote: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.
The Pali word is citta, which covers much of the connotative territory of both English 'mind' as well as 'heart'.
---
MN 127 wrote:"Householder, what is the limitless release of mind? Here, the bhikkhu pervades one direction with thoughts of loving kindness. Also the second, the third, the fourth, above, below and across, in all circumstances, for all purposes, pervades the whole world with thoughts of loving kindness, extensive, grown great and measureless without ill will and anger. The bhikkhu pervades one direction with thoughts of compassion ... re ... intrinsic joy ... re ... equanimity. Also the second, the third, the fourth, above, below, and across, in all circumstances, for all purposes, pervades the whole world with equanimity, extensive, grown great and measureless without ill will and anger. Householder, this is the limitless release of mind."
In the first tetrad of anapanasati, the culminating instruction is "calming bodily fabrication", bodily fabrication being the breath. In the second tetrad, the culminating instruction is "calming mental fabrication", mental fabrication being feeling and perception.

So, the culminating instruction for the third tetrad is "He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind,'" which strikes me as referring to the limitless release of mind, as above.

This is directly related to eradicating the hindrance of ill-will in the following way:
MN 107 wrote:As soon, brahman, as he is possessed of mindfulness and clear consciousness, the Tathagata disciplines him further, saying: 'Come you, monk, choose a remote lodging in a forest, at the root of a tree, on a mountain slope, in a glen, a hill cave, a cemetery, a woodland grove, in the open, or on a heap of straw.' On returning from alms-gathering after the meal, the monk sits down crosslegged, holding the back erect, having made mindfulness rise up in front of him. He, getting rid of covetousness for the world, dwells with a mind devoid of covetousness, he cleanses the mind of covetousness. Getting rid of the taint of ill-will, he dwells benevolent in mind; compassionate and merciful towards all creatures and beings, he cleanses the mind of ill-will. Getting rid of sloth and torpor, he dwells without sloth or torpor; perceiving the light, mindful and clearly conscious he cleanses the mind of sloth and torpor. Getting rid of restlessness and worry, he dwells calmly; the mind inward tranquil, he cleanses the mind of restlessness and worry. Getting rid of doubt, he dwells doubt-crossed; unperplexed as to the states that are skilled, he cleanses his mind of doubt.
  • "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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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:09 pm

this is one of the tools I personally use for each of the Brahma viharas
Suffusion with the Divine Abidings - MN7 wrote:[Handa mayaṃ caturappamaññā obhasanaṃ karomase]
[Now let us make the Four Boundless Qualities shine forth.]

[Mettā-sahagatena] cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati Tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthaṃ Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya Sabbavantaṃ lokaṃ mettā-sahagatena cetasā Vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā vihāratī
pervading one quarter with a heart imbued with loving-kindness; likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above and below, around and everywhere; and to all as to myself. I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with loving-kindness; abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.

Karuṇā-sahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati Tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthaṃ Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya Sabbavantaṃ lokaṃ karuṇā-sahagatena cetasā Vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā vihāratī
I will abide pervading one quarter with a heart imbued with compassion; likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above and below, around and everywhere; and to all as to myself. I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with compassion; abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.

Muditā-sahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati Tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthaṃ Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya Sabbavantaṃ lokaṃ muditā-sahagatena cetasā Vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā vihāratī
I will abide pervading one quarter with a heart imbued with gladness; likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above and below, around and everywhere; and to all as to myself. I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with gladness; abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.

Upekkhā-sahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati Tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthaṃ Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya Sabbavantaṃ lokaṃ upekkhā-sahagatena cetasā Vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā vihāratī’ti
I will abide pervading one quarter with a heart imbued with equanimity; likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above and below, around and everywhere; and to all as to myself. I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with equanimity; abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.


The Six Quaters or directions can be found in DN 31 - Sigalovada Sutta: The Discourse to Sigala - The Layperson's Code of Discipline parts in brackets added by me
"And how, young householder, does a noble disciple cover the six quarters?

"The following should be looked upon as the six quarters. The (1)parents should be looked upon as the East, (2)teachers as the South, (3)wife and children as the West, (4)friends and associates as the North, (5)servants and employees as the Nadir(below), (6)ascetics and brahmans as the Zenith(above).

mikenz66 wrote: 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,

hi Mike,
careful with that translation, it is one of the lines which causes friction (for lack of better word) no where in the pali is cherish found, and the context is out of sync with the simile before it.

not that I disagree with what you say, but I have particular aversion toward that line in that translation, and have had a few small discussions about it FWIW.
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But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:52 pm

Greetings,
Cittasanto wrote:careful with that translation, it is one of the lines which causes friction (for lack of better word) no where in the pali is cherish found, and the context is out of sync with the simile before it.
Agreed.

Cherish also has overtones of attachment, clinging and passion, which aren't to be cultivated.

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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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:56 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
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.
Of course. My understanding of applying the suttas is that you could generate that boundless heart with any approach you find works, including what I take to be your method of simply deciding "Now I'll generate a boundless heart". :meditate:

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:59 pm

Greetings Mike,

Without the "Now I'll", yes.

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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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by sattva » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:30 pm

I've kmown a few people who love these Ayya Khema metta meditations, probably because they are visual instead of chatty. Hope you like them. Scroll down to the guided medtiation part on the page and click one :)

http://www.leighb.com/metta.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Buckwheat » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:41 am

I just do metta as in "met-" on the in breath and "-ta" on the out breath. With the body I watch the chest area. With the mind I use visualizations to remind me of people. Mom might either be bringing up her face or thinking of raviolis or anything else that brings up to mind that person and goodwill. If I'm feeling chatty or having a hard time visualizing my long version is "May <person> be safe, happy, and healthy."

I'm no metta expert but since you wanted something less chatty I thought I'd add my two bits.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Mojo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:40 am

I've been reading up more today about Tonglen, the Tibetan practice if giving and receiving. In it, you visualize yourself breathing in a person's bad karma or sorrow or pain... and then breathing out to them a good quality they can use for healing. I asked my library tonight to see if they can find me a few books on the topic by Chodron and Trungpa. I know the library system they are in doesn't have anything from either, but hopefully they can get me something through interlibrary loan. They got me a really nice book on Chan this way once. It was kind of funny when I went to pick it up. The librarian looked at the cover and seemed to be puzzled by it. It had one of the ox hearding pictures on it. There was a young teenager who was trying to get another librarian to try to find her a book on Witchcraft. The librarian told her to be careful and that this was not something to play with. Ahhhhh, small town life in the midwest. :soap:

:namaste:

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:49 am

Mojon wrote:I've been reading up more today about Tonglen, the Tibetan practice if giving and receiving. In it, you visualize yourself breathing in a person's bad karma or sorrow or pain... and then breathing out to them a good quality they can use for healing.
That is a rather shamanistic practice, but that is not to say that it cannot be of value. If it speaks to you, try it.

Of course Youtube is worth a check:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... 28l3-1l1l0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I meant Pema Chodron shortly after her first ordination. She is very good.

As for Trungpa, he is worth reading, but if you are not careful you might end up {{{gasp!!!}}} a Mahayanist.
>> 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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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by amtross » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:05 am

I love the idea of Metta but my mind just seems to revolt at the idea of chanting those mantras over and over. I spent about a year with it being my primary form of practice but it never felt comfortable.

Something that really works for me, especially in walking meditaion (these steps are additive, layer them on top of each other until the heart opens up):
1. Start by being in touch with the movement and the sensations of walking. Noticing the changes.
2. Focus on the impermanence of those changes.
3. Then notice that these sensations arise and change on thier own, not mine
4. Then think about how everything arises due to conditions and how everything in the universe is arising every moment, conditioned by everything else. There is no self, no central point of control. Everything is impermenent and interconnected in the present moment.
5. As the heart starts to open, make a single wish "may we all be happy"

If the heart has opened up go back to just focusing on the changes in the sensations of your walking and how they arise on their own and are not yours.

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Aloka » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:38 am

Mojon wrote:I've been reading up more today about Tonglen, the Tibetan practice if giving and receiving. In it, you visualize yourself breathing in a person's bad karma or sorrow or pain... and then breathing out to them a good quality they can use for healing.
I wouldn't recommend this practice for anyone with mental health problems of any description. In the past I have known of people who've already been having difficulties with anxiety and depression, who've found the Tonglen instructions on the internet and then started practising them, only to start panicking and becoming overwhelmed, because they have strongly felt that they were literally taking in all the suffering of others.

As a former offline practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism myself, I'd recommend that its best to do this practice with the guidance of an offline teacher.

with kind wishes

Aloka

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:27 pm

Aloka wrote:
Mojon wrote:I've been reading up more today about Tonglen, the Tibetan practice if giving and receiving. In it, you visualize yourself breathing in a person's bad karma or sorrow or pain... and then breathing out to them a good quality they can use for healing.
I wouldn't recommend this practice for anyone with mental health problems of any description. In the past I have known of people who've already been having difficulties with anxiety and depression, who've found the Tonglen instructions on the internet and then started practising them, only to start panicking and becoming overwhelmed, because they have strongly felt that they were literally taking in all the suffering of others.

As a former offline practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism myself, I'd recommend that its best to do this practice with the guidance of an offline teacher.

with kind wishes

Aloka
Good advice. Best to try to take it slowly, paying attention to one's reactions to the practice. Having a teacher is always a good thing. Way too easy to try to do it alone and end up down one garden path or another.
>> 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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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by ancientbuddhism » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:20 pm

Aloka wrote:I wouldn't recommend this practice for anyone with mental health problems of any description. In the past I have known of people who've already been having difficulties with anxiety and depression, who've found the Tonglen instructions on the internet and then started practising them, only to start panicking and becoming overwhelmed, because they have strongly felt that they were literally taking in all the suffering of others.
Delusion can turn anything into its own likeness. I still encourage people with these so-called issues to practice.
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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Mojo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:26 pm

Well, I have had a few bouts of anxiety and depression in the past. And I believe that I've made lifestyle adjustments to help prevent future occurrences. I see this tonglen practice as being completely symbolic. In fact, I almost see it as a symbolic act of breathing in the negativity, healing it, and then breathing it back - again, all symbolic.

It did cross my mind however that just the symbolic act of breathing in a person's suffering could become overwhelming after a while, even if I didn't hold on to it. But on the flip side, how is this different than being there with a shoulder for that person to cry on? You are still, at least mentally, taking on that person's problems and returning loving kindness.

I'm thinking though, that I could borrow the visualization oj just breathing out portion of the tonglen practice and use it to help me make my own metta practice.

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Re: Less Chatty Metta Bhavana?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:28 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Aloka wrote:I wouldn't recommend this practice for anyone with mental health problems of any description. In the past I have known of people who've already been having difficulties with anxiety and depression, who've found the Tonglen instructions on the internet and then started practising them, only to start panicking and becoming overwhelmed, because they have strongly felt that they were literally taking in all the suffering of others.
Delusion can turn anything into its own likeness. I still encourage people with these so-called issues to practice.
really, so any practice would do?

what was described is a particular issue with a particular practice, FYA
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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