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Thread: Meta Reminder

  1. #1

    Meta Reminder

    Hi All
    Just a thought that came to me last night as the first hot water made it to the house after a week of night sub-freezing temperatures and frozen pipes. Trying to recover from big time phumonia followed by a detached retina, a nice warm place to hide and stay warm seemed to be top priority.

    As I was enjoying the shower I had a mind shift and started to focus on Meta practice:

    1. May I be free of suffering; may I feel safe and still.
    2. May I be free of enmity; may I be loving, grateful and kind.
    3. May I be healthy and at ease in all my ills.
    4. May I be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

    I then realized or reminded that Meta is not complete without extending those thoughts to all.

    1. May he(she) be free of suffering; may he(she) feel safe and still.
    2. May he(she) be free of enmity; may he(she) be loving, grateful and kind.
    3. May he(she) be healthy and at ease in all his(her) ills.
    4. May he(she) be at peace, embracing all conditions of life

    I particularly thought about all the members of our extended Buddhist
    family who are held captive in cold, isolated places,, no heat, adequate food, no cozy place to hide and nurse their mental and physical ills.

    So this probably is not a start of a new thread, just a sharing of my reminder to continue in our community and individual meta practice each day. I know when I was in ICU in late December your meta thoughts were a comfort that helped pull me along.

    Peace

    Jim

  2. #2

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thanks for the reminder Jim.

    I forget too often that this too is part of our practice.

    Hope you are doing well.

    gassho
    Greg

  3. #3

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thank you for the reminder, Jim. You are seeing clearly.

    If anyone would like some more explanation of this "Recommended Daily Practice of Metta" ... which is recommended ...

    ... please look here:

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1199

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thank you Jim,
    daily metta practice makes a difference, for me, and for those around me,
    hopefully even for all sentinent beings.
    _()_
    Peter

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Deep bows to you...sensei.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing your insights.
    I believe Metta is best when directed towards something other than ourselves. This is a popular theme throught my practice. I'm doing it largely in part to the benefit of others. If the principals and practice of Zen Buddhism make me a better person(which I believe they do) then that is to the benefit of my family, friends, and even strangers I encounter. Like the guy who cuts me off in traffic . He benefits from this practice too. Even if he doesn't practice himself.
    As an analogy, our actions create rings which radiate outwards (like a tree leaf being dropped onto the surface of water)affecting others. It can be in good ways or bad. And then those rings are picked up by others and apmlified/added to before they too radiate outwards from them. It's cyclical. If Dad hits mom, mom hits the child, the child, the child hits the dog, the dog bites the cat....you get the idea.

    Gassho,
    John

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing your insights.
    I believe Metta is best when directed towards something other than ourselves. This is a popular theme throught my practice. I'm doing it largely in part to the benefit of others. If the principals and practice of Zen Buddhism make me a better person(which I believe they do) then that is to the benefit of my family, friends, and even strangers I encounter. Like the guy who cuts me off in traffic . He benefits from this practice too. Even if he doesn't practice himself.
    As an analogy, our actions create rings which radiate outwards (like a tree leaf being dropped onto the surface of water)affecting others. It can be in good ways or bad. And then those rings are picked up by others and apmlified/added to before they too radiate outwards from them. It's cyclical. If Dad hits mom, mom hits the child, the child, the child hits the dog, the dog bites the cat....you get the idea.

    Gassho,
    John
    Hey John

    I agree that Metta is good when directed towards others, but I don't believe you can do that unless you also offer it to yourself. Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...at least I think so. And you are right, it is cyclical...but is also true if mom hits dad...or treats him like an idiot...and all stereotypes and non-stereotypes inbetween.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  8. #8

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...
    Priceless. Never heard it put so well. Thanks Dosho.

    deep bows
    Greg

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thank you Dosho. This is very wise indeed! I love the reference you made to the oxygen mask!

    Gassho
    John

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...
    Agreed well said, and brilliant my friend.
    Gassho

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    As long as you are doing both all is good.

    Gassho,
    John

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Jim,
    As another sangha member from a cold wintry place, thank you very much for this. A deep bow of gratitude,

    Yugen

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    I'm taking this here from my Metta thread in the Life forum, because it seems to fit the previous discussion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Hi! :lol:

    To say the truth, I've been experiencing difficuties in the practice of metta as it is explained in our forum. It is not so easy to practice this "open compassion" without boundaries.
    For month I stopped practicing loving-kidness until a few weeks ago. With the (maybe unconscious) help of Fugen and Taigu I realized that I was full of compassion in general... except when I really needed to practice it. I mean that it is sooo easy to be compassionate when everything is Ok, but when experiencing doubt and pain it is not the same thing.
    So, I try to practice lovingkidness again. Mainly with the practice of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) which I've been taught in Tibetan Nyingma tradition received years ago.

    Generally, the practice is "given" to every sentient beings with no emphasis on a single person... Sorry I'm a bit out of subject but it still metta isn't it?

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Hi Jinyu,
    maybe "open compassion without boundaries" is just too idealistic. My understanding of Metta practice is that you say or think the four statements (or similar):
    1. May I be free of suffering; may I feel safe and still.
    2. May I be free of enmity; may I be loving, grateful and kind.
    3. May I be healthy and at ease in all my ills.
    4. May I be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

    My version goes like this:

    May I be well and happy
    May I be peacefull and calm
    May I achieve my aspirations
    May I be safe from danger
    May my mind be free from hatred
    May my heart be full of love
    May I be well and happy

    The "minimum" is to say them for yourself once and again for all sentient beings. However, I think it's really good to say them for at least one specific person in your life.
    Like shikantaza, just do it, no matter what goes on in your mind. You don't have to "feel" the compassion. Metta is not a concept. Just do it, just say the words.

    ESPECIALLY in times of doubt and pain it is good to do this for yourself. If you just cannot wish yourself well, try this: visualise how you were as a child, maybe 5 years old, and imagine you embrace this fragile, vulnerable child and wish him/ her well.

    For a long time I cringed whenever I thought of my parents during metta. I didn't feel loving towards them. But even so, what was wrong with wishing them to be well and happy? Glad to say I love them very much now.... but now I'm doing the same for obnoxious project managers, people who idle their cars and suffocate me, people who are rude to me... I may grit may teeth while saying "may you be well and happy" but it does make a difference.

    I think that "every sentient being" can become a nice idea that instantly breaks apart when somebody steps on your toes... that's why I recommend reciting the metta for specific people.

    May your practice go well!
    Nindo

  14. #14

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    So, I try to practice lovingkidness again. Mainly with the practice of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) which I've been taught in Tibetan Nyingma tradition received years ago.

    Generally, the practice is "given" to every sentient beings with no emphasis on a single person... Sorry I'm a bit out of subject but it still metta isn't it?

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Sounds very interesting Jinyu! Can you give us more details about this practice or a website to read more about it?

    Gassho

    Rimon

  15. #15

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Hi!
    Thank you Nindo for moving my post!
    Rimon,
    Sorry, I've been away for a few days! A pragmatic view, it is a practice of visualization and recitation of the mantra of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Now, the practice is more subtle and generally the practice of "Chenrezig" is given during initiation with a sadhana (a kind of guide in your meditation with the chants and visualization advices), more advices are given by the lama, and for most "deity yogas" a personal teacher is needed.
    The Sadhana is generally composed by taking refuge and developing the mind of the Bodhi, prostrations, four immeasurables (practical thoughts, a kind of guide for meditation on impermanence and Shunyata)these practices were part of the daily practice of every Mahayana schools of the time, i've been taught). According to the school different kinds of visualization are associated to every step.
    I received this practice in a lineage that was teaching dzogchen and I've been taught to end every step by a short practice of "contemplation", not worrying too much about visualizing right or wrong, just being focus and very open to the practice. In fact the chanting for the specific practice of Chenrezig is a tibetan description of the visualizations. Chenrezig is prayed during visualisation to help every sentient being, and his mantra short or long or both are recited and at the end of the sadhana the practice and "visualization" is everything becomes the body, speech and mind of Chenrezig and we rest in contemplation with that... sounds familiar hey? :lol:

    Well, it is a very flexible practice, one can recite only is mantra when walking or on the bus; the practice can be very short and informal or long and with much prayers and bowing .... very flexible but each time with this same open attention and compassion for every sentient beings...

    I'm probably not the best person to describe this practice, but if you have more questions it is really best to ask in a local group. The practice of Chenrezig, like the practice of Shakyamuni, Amithaba, and Manjushri can be practiced without a proper initiation (it means that in theory you can pick up a sadhana from a book and practice it, but in reality it is really important to get proper advices on this practice, and most Tibetan Sanghas are very open and can show you the practice in a short session).

    I hope I answered your question a bit!
    Have a nice day!

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    A ver nice reminder.

    I too often forget about metta. Will do it tomorrow.

    Thanks!

  17. #17

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Hi everybody!

    Jinyu is a well seasonned and experienced Buddhist practionner and he received personnal instructions which allow him to proceed in a very precise style and tradition of tibetan Buddhism. That's why when he asked me i told him it was Ok to carry on with this practice. If you haven't received any instructions prior to your Treeleaf experience, I would advise you to practice Metta and only Metta. It can be extremely detremental to somebody's practice to mix salads and indulge in fusion spritual shopping. Zen is zen. And our school is very precise. I don't even practice rituals of forms in my own Soto school because I was not personnaly instructed and shown how to do them.

    And the fact I am going to study Shingon rituals this summer doen't mean I am going to put them into practice. Actually, I soleley want to focus on simplicity.

    Now there is a very easy practice which is the core of all of them, sweep the mandala, take away the seated Boddhistava, make the mantra a long silent breath and as you walk in the street, as you work with people, as you interact with your beloved ones or the people that you don't really get on well, meet Kannon in everyone, everywhere. A car, Kannon. A cat, Kannon. The wind, a noise, Kannon again. Your boss, Kannon, your child, Kannon. You wife or husband...And bow, bow inwardly for all these manifetsations of Kannon, shining in every corner of space. This is a practice that everybody can do, you may see just love and compassion. Nothing Eastern or even no fancy name like "Kannon" And you may open your eyes on the real nature of this universe. No complex rituals and esoteric stuff needed. Just daily practice .

    Gassho

    Taigu

  18. #18

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thank you for this very straighforward view on metta, Taigu,
    _()_
    Peter

  19. #19

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thanks to clarify Taigu, I had in mind the answer and maybe didn't emphasize enough on the fact that I do practice this because I'm having difficulties for long with the practice of Metta in is pure simplicity... but I still hope it will change!
    Thank you also for your description of "the limitless practice of Kannon".

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  20. #20

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thanks Jinyu for the explanation. Like you said, it is a practice that only make sense if passed on personaly by a teacher.
    And thank you Taigu for this Kannon practice. Simple and to the point. Gonna start right now!

    Gassho

    Rimon

  21. #21

    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thanks for the reminder. I have been trying to do this practice each night before bed. It really does start to change the shape of one's thoughts, especially towards others, I've found.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Meta Reminder

    Working in a hospital i have a lot of opportunity to practice metta for others. When a code rapid response or code blue(cardiopulmonary arrest) is paged over head I always take a few moments to reflect upon the poor person whom the code is being called for.

    Gassho,
    John

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