Metta blockade

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Metta blockade

Postby reflection » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:34 pm

Dear all,

I have quite some meditation experience but am running into a block. When I do a metta meditation, I feel like I want to cry for the suffering of all beings. But when I want to allow this crying, the urge disappears. I go back to the metta/compassion, the feeling to cry comes back, but it is like a loop I can't get out of for now.

Does anybody experienced have similar experiences or any tips?

With metta, (limited for now ;) )
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Re: Metta blockade

Postby gnegirl » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:39 am

You could try remembering that you yourself are also deserving of this compassion you are generating. If it threatens to overwhelm, if you have a guru, get their advice on how to deal with it.

I had something similar and my teacher gave me a remedy, but it was very much tailored to me, and came straight from my practise. In my case, the feelings were on the way to causing me depression and anxiety.
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." --Surangama Sutra

Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Metta blockade

Postby ground » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:43 am

reflection wrote:Dear all,

I have quite some meditation experience but am running into a block. When I do a metta meditation, I feel like I want to cry for the suffering of all beings. But when I want to allow this crying, the urge disappears. I go back to the metta/compassion, the feeling to cry comes back, but it is like a loop I can't get out of for now.

Does anybody experienced have similar experiences or any tips?

With metta, (limited for now ;) )
Reflection


Just go on and watch the arising and passing away of metta and of the urge. You may want to try to rest in "the urge having passed away" and abandon the loop's strand.

Kind regards
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Re: Metta blockade

Postby Aemilius » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:05 am

You can also try some practical bodhisattva action, like going into a gambling hall and telling the people there that they are really wasting their precious birth as free human beings. Then you try to persuade them to give up gambling because it is a total waste of time, waste of a human life. You tell them that they could use their life in studying the Dharma, for example. This should help.
svaha
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Re: Metta blockade

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:24 pm

reflection wrote:Dear all,

I have quite some meditation experience but am running into a block. When I do a metta meditation, I feel like I want to cry for the suffering of all beings. But when I want to allow this crying, the urge disappears. I go back to the metta/compassion, the feeling to cry comes back, but it is like a loop I can't get out of for now.

Does anybody experienced have similar experiences or any tips?

With metta, (limited for now ;) )
Reflection


Hi Reflection,

Another thing you may want to consider is that you seem to be conflating metta with karuna. Ajahn Sujato actually talks about this (I can find this if yo PM me) and warns not to let metta turn into upekkha or karuna. It might be helpful to remember that metta bhavana is a concentration practice so keeping the object in mind and coming back to it doggedly until your concentration becomes more stable. I apologize in advance for my Theravada bias but I hope it helps. Metta.

Mike
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Re: Metta blockade

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:10 pm

Thank you all for the replies. Indeed I was confusing metta with compassion. But also I forgot I deserved it myself.

Don't worry about the Theravada reply. I like all Buddhist traditions. :sage:

But I have overcome it by first doing more concentration practice before going into metta.

It made me really happy. Thanks again all.

:namaste:

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Re: Metta blockade

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:59 pm

I believe it goes a little further than simply mistaking loving-kindness for compassion.
Compassion shouldn't make you sink in sadness either.
I think it could be useful for you to search a little about the "near enemies" of the four immeasurable (loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity).
Grief, which is paralyzing and leads one to depression is the near enemy on compassion. They share commonalities, yet these feelings and resultant thoughts are counter productive to one's practice. If you can buy the book I recommend bellow, great. If you don't and need some texts about this to better access your situation, you can try googling for "brahma viharas" and "near enemies" or "four immeasurables" and so on. If your are not satisfied with the results, please ask and I'll try to provide some texts. Anyway, if you can get the book, it would be great. It also gives a good introduction to shamatha practice.
So here it is, from Alan Wallace: The Four Immeasurables: Cultivating a Boundless Heart . See here:http://www.amazon.com/Four-Immeasurables-Cultivating-Boundless-Heart/dp/1559392096 .
Since your practice may be disturbed by this sort of emotions, perhaps you would do good by exploring this subject further.

Keep us posted if you find any trouble!

Best wishes,

DN
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