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Metta -practice tips - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Metta -practice tips

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
rowyourboat
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:21 am

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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manas
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby manas » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:26 am

Ok, something that has worked from a relatively inexperienced practitioner...

I have tried the phrases mentally / verbally wishing myself and others goodwill, happiness etc. But it usually feels a bit hollow to me. Each to their own, however, so if this works for others, i'm pleased for them, but I really struggle with this method.

I actually just use metta in the context of anapanasati instead. By 'using' it to overcome the hindrance of ill-will, I avoid getting too self-conscious about it. It becomes just 'doing the needful'. An example: There is boredom as regards the meditation object (the breath). And so the mind becomes averse, and wishes it were someplace else. This is where i find a quiet affirmation useful, gently spoken in the mind, to the breath: "I accept you as you are. You don't have to please me. Just be what you are; I will just watch". If the mind has been even somewhat calmed already, this can work like 'autosuggestion', and the small but wholesome thought, directed to the centre of one's awareness (the breath), can seem to expand outwards. This conscious letting go of wanting things to be any different, this acceptance of how it is right now ('there is a breath, just that') - can seem to usher in a feeling of love that can pervade the whole body. (It doesn't always happen like this, of course. We can not get this by grasping for it.) But at the very least I've found that the mind calms down a bit, and accepts that 'right now, this breath is enough'. Acceptance is one aspect of love, I feel.

So maybe anapanasati can be used a a link to metta? Just some ideas. :)
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:20 am


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manas
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby manas » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:45 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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gavesako
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby gavesako » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:43 pm

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:36 pm


Sanghamitta
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:49 pm

When idling in traffic in your car or the bus you might see someone sitting in a restaurant or window shopping...for a moment "change places " with them, and see you going by in your car or bus. and send them/you metta.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

rowyourboat
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:04 pm

A friend suggested considering the fact that other people have radiated metta to you- so when walking down the road (ok, more likely in a temple) you might run into someone who may have felt metta for you.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

rowyourboat
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:00 pm

Someone said that Jesus died on the cross with a heart of metta! Do you have that kind of metta ? :)

With mettta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:24 am

I skimed through the topic so I'm not sure anyone has already sugested this, but here it goes:

1- remember the love your father/mother gave you, and the ocasions where they were by your side in the bad moments, always suporting you. This will make the metta arise.

2- After generating metta through the remembering of the love you received and after repeating the phrases for a while, tie anapanasati with metta: breathing in feeling metta and breathing out feeling metta. Or, breathing in building metta inside and breathing out radiating metta.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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BlackBird
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:32 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

rowyourboat
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:20 pm

Metta with craving towards the object of metta is romantic love. Similarly when craving comes into the picture it distorts metta and restricts it's scope and spread, giving rise to further defilements (anger, jealousy etc). To truly purify your metta, remove all craving from the mind of metta.

With metta!

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

mlswe
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby mlswe » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:05 pm

Bhante Gunaratas phrases have been very helpful to counteract tendencies of shallowness and sentimentality and bring real power to my metta-bhavana. The phrases reflect what kind of actions and attitutes loving-friendliness entails and make the abiding more well rounded and generous. When i just wished myself well and happy, feelings of desire more easily popped up.

for example in his "beyond mindfulness" he gives the example : "May I be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to me. May i always meet with spiritual success. May I also have patiance, courage, understanding and determination to meet and overcome inevetable difficulties problems and failures in life. May I always rise above them with morality, integrity, forgiveness,compassion, mindfulness and wisdom"

and so forth for parents, teachers, relatives, friends, neutral person, unfriendlies, all living beings respectively

i also found it helpful to connect the words in my mind to images of times when i had practiced patiance courage integrity and so forth to give them more resonance ( when resonant power has been established the images are to be let go of to abstain from mental prolifiration)

and don´t forget to smile :)

Reductor
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Reductor » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:05 pm

I have found that a single simple phrase is best for me, i.e., "may [name] be happy". Otherwise I become distracted from the feeling of metta by the recalling of phrases to mind.

Then I visualize each person's face with an expression of happiness and focus on it for a moment or two, starting with a person who has given me great help in the past and for whom metta is a natural feeling. Then this feeling is maintained as I recall other people close to me in a similar fashion.

The other thing I have taken to doing is starting with a person close to me and then choosing a member of their family as the next person. Often I will work my way through a family before choosing someone known to that family as the next. In this way I trace my way through the social and familiar networks of my world(so to speak) spreading metta.

I am often surprised by just how far this network reaches out. And it is often that I recall yet another person, and then another, that had been passed over before. For each person who's face I am not familar with I imagine a sex appropriate one which is smiling and happy.

It so happens that I reacy a point when I am undecided who next to direct metta too. Often then I cast my thoughts around.to strangers or little known people that I have had dealings with that day, and then spread metta them.

I return often to those people for whom I easily feel metta as a way of renewing the feeling and restoring energy. Then I pick up where I left off.

Doing this I do find that I naturally become nicer toward the people I interact with day to day.

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cooran
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:55 am

Hello all,

Here is a complete Retreat taught by Ajahn Sujato at Jhana Grove focusing on Metta (Loving Kindness) in the last month:
This is the first of 19 audio recordings.

As the title suggests, it is an induction talk, setting the scene for an insightful and thought-provoking Nine Day Retreat.
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/downloads/ ... -2011.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:25 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:24 pm

I wnder if we have forgotten that mitta/metta also means 'friend' and 'friendliness'. This could be seen as the weaker end of the spectrum of metta.

That and the simple thing about smiling more - with people. :smile:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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manas
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Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby manas » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:41 pm

There is no doubting that physically feeding people, digging wells for them, etc is better than just wishing for these things to be done. But in my current financial circumstances, I can barely even take care of my own, let alone other families...and so sending money overseas via Oxfam isn't viable for me at present. So, I stumbled upon a way I can at least send that thought out into the world. I visualized it. Now being all in my imagination, I was able to do my charity unlimitedly. So I visualized wells getting dug across all of Africa, there being better irrigation for crops, the people then living harmoniously, in happiness without civil strife, men, women and children feeling safe...I visualized this happening over the whole world, and if I would have remembered it I could even have visualized some of the most difficult people of all (those who wage war for profit, etc) as having a change of heart, softening, and instead working for peace...

I just wanted to share this here, because although it would be preferable to actually dig even one well, digging millions of them mentally is the next best thing (for me, at present).
:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:03 am

Hi all,

It struck me today as I was rocking my baby daughter to sleep, that true metta has the following qualities:

1) self-sacrifice : You are prepared to put another's needs before your own. You don't mind the inconvenience or that your immediate needs might not be met.

2) acceptance : you accept the other person, whoever they might be, however ungrateful, defiled or unlikeable they may be. You accept them and like them regardless of their limitations- we have been there, and everybody has their imperfections- it is up to us to find the goodness in people, genuinely.

3) freedom : if you truly love someone you let them be who they are. You also allow them to go wherever they want, not wanting to restrict them or keep them close to you - because that is selfishness.

4) provide them with help, support, love, company, affection when THEY want it, not when you want to display it to them.

5) emotional containment : you help them manage their emotions better - you do not hurt them or make them upset for the sake of it being good for them.

6) you do not impose your views, your ideals on them and expect them to conform to how you want them to behave.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Metta -practice tips

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:47 pm

Good site to 'register' your compassionate commitment at.. :

http://charterforcompassion.org/site/

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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