Not sure if this relates or not, but a few of us have been and the brahmaviharas over at ZFI... and how its foundational "emotional" work and sometimes practitioners may focus too much on the mental aspects of practice, neglecting the foundational work needed in regards to cultivating compassion, joy, metta, etc. Do the brahmaviharas serve as a kind of antidote to egoism and help to reduce clinging? Definitely this would seem to be true of the 7 factors of awakening.
I just wonder how far one can go with a focus on primarily mental and contemplative work if these factors are not also being cultivated skillfully in our day-to-day activities and social interactions with others..
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009