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Thread: RECOMMENDED DAILY Metta PRACTICE

  1. #1

    RECOMMENDED DAILY Metta PRACTICE

    Hi,

    Our core practice is always Zazen ... "Just Sitting" Shikantaza Zazen.

    But I wish to introduce a touch of "Metta (Loving Kindness) Practice" as well (many Zen teachers have done so), and I recommend it once a day at least. It can also be done at any time when, for example, some feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy or the like start to well up in us directed at a fellow sentient being. A bit of Metta can be good medicine for that.

    While I do not intend this to replace our core practice of Shikantaza by any means, I have taught at various Zen Sangha that have well introduced a bit of Metta Practice. I think it adds a little something vital to our practice on the "Compassion" side of the equation.

    For those not familiar with the term ...

    Metta (मैत्री, a word in the ancient Buddhist Pali language) has been translated as "loving-kindness," "benevolence," "good will," "love" and "sympathy." It is one of the Ten Paramitas (Virtues) of Buddhism. The metta bhavana ("cultivation of metta") is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. The object of metta meditation is loving kindness (but, of course, without demands or attachment). Traditionally, the practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving kindness towards themselves, then their loved ones, friends, strangers, difficult or hate-filled people in our life or world (perhaps the most difficult part of the practice) and finally towards all sentient beings.
    I might suggest a few minutes of Metta practice as a nice way to end the day before bed (or, for example, at the closing of your evening Zazen) or sometime during your day. Perhaps just before turning into bed for the night, or right after finishing your evening Zazen (and before rising from the Zafu), or any time, you might recite or chant the following ... (and, as stated, it is also good during your day when encountering folks who "just plain get your goat"!

    (Note that, for reasons of our Soto Practice, I have modified some phrasing common to other traditions to be more embracing of conditions 'as they are'. For example, we should aspire for people to be healthy as well as "at ease in all their ills", not merely the former.

    Note also that we include people who may have done or being doing truly ugly actions in the world or in our lives. It is perhaps the hardest to wish "health" and "peace" to such people. However, please understand that we do so with the sense that, if such people, or other people like them whom they represent, truly new inner "health" and "peace," then they would not be or have acted in such hateful ways. In Buddhism, we do not really believe that there are "bad people," only people who "act badly" due to the disease of inner excess desire, anger and divided thinking within them. Thus, wishing such people well is really asking for peace in life and in this world.)


    To begin, take a moment to quiet your mind, and focus your attention on recalling the experience and sensation of loving kindness. Try to summon such feelings within, and hold them throughout your sincere reciting of the following. Reach into your emotional memory, and try to recall and hold in your heart what loving kindness would feel like. Try smiling gently, and mean it. That simple step really does something to put us in the right frame of mind.

    You will then begin by offering Metta to yourself. If distracting thoughts arise, let them pass and return to your Metta practice from there, again and again, just as in Shikantaza. While reciting, try to maintain the experience and sensation of loving kindness to the beings mentioned, even a difficult or violent person. Note that the word "suffering" in the following refers to the Buddhist idea of Dukkha (see this talk on the Four Noble Truths for an explanation: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...y-Dooby-Dukkha)

    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.



    Next, repeat the chant with a specific close loved one in mind ...


    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


    Then, repeat the above in succession for a specific close friend, a specific neutral person (someone you neither like nor dislike), and then a difficult person (no need to start with the most difficult person, but someone with whom you have frictions or feel negative emotions ... However, it is a good practice to focus on truly problematic, hateful or harm doing individuals. That is perhaps the most valuable and difficult practice of all).

    Close with all beings:

    1. May we be free of suffering; may we feel safe and still.

    2. May we be free of enmity; may we be loving, grateful and kind.

    3. May we be healthy and at ease in all our ills.

    4. May we be at peace, embracing all conditions of life
    It can be said to oneself, out loud or inwardly. It can be spoken, and need not be sung or chanted. It need not be considered a "prayer" to some force outside us (we will leave that to silence), and can be thought of as simply our aspiration for a better world for all living beings. Truly, 'inside' and 'outside' are not two, and one can effect and greatly change the other.

    One can ask if there really is a power to this practice to work change. I will say yes. Our hateful thoughts, words and acts can have real impact on ourself and on the people around us, creating pain and problems for people. Such behavior adds some drops of poison and ugliness into the world. So, in equal fashion, our kind thoughts, words and acts can have real impact, direct and indirect, on ourself and those around us and impacted by our behavior. In this day and age of modern communications, actions and words far across the world can have effects, great and small, on all of us. One does not need to believe in some mysterious power to Metta in order to understand its positive effects. If I wish my friend or loved one ill or well, it will have great potential to touch them.

    We practice this as a regular part of our monthly Zazenkai. Please see here (from the 3:34:00 mark) for an example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=BdPvpteITdQ

    May there be much Metta for all of you in our Sangha.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-11-2018 at 01:37 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: RECOMMENDED DAILY Metta PRACTICE

    The follow essays by the Venerable Narada Mahathera, the late Theravadan teacher from Sri Lanka ...

    http://www.buddhistvihara.com/newsle...maha_thera.htm

    ... really brings aspects of Metta (Loving Kindness) Practice to life, and is a good guide for how it should be undertaken. (As I mentioned, he speaks of "happiness," we speak of "contentment" more, but all the same heart.) I wish to share parts of that ...

    1. METTA

    The first Sublime State is Metta (Samskrit-Maitri). It means that which softens one's heart, or the state of a true friend. It is defined as the sincere wish for the welfare and genuine happiness of all living beings without exception. It is also explained as the friendly disposition, for a genuine friend sincerely wishes for the welfare of his friend.

    "Just as a mother protects her only child even at the risk of her life, even so one should cultivate boundless loving-kindness towards all living beings" is the advice of the Buddha.

    It is not the passionate love of the mother towards her child that is stressed here but her sincere wish for the genuine welfare of her child.

    Metta is neither carnal love nor personal affection, for grief inevitably arises from both.

    Metta is not mere neighbourliness, for it makes no distinction between neighbours and others.

    Metta is not mere universal brotherhood, for it embraces all living beings including animals, our lesser brethren and sisters that need greater compassion as they are helpless.

    Metta is not political brotherhood or racial brotherhood, or national brotherhood, or even religious brotherhood.

    Political brotherhood is confined only to those who share similar political views, such as the partial brotherhood of Democrats, Socialists, Communists, and so forth.

    Racial brotherhood and national brotherhood are restricted only to those of the same race and nation. Some nationalists love their race so much that sometimes they ruthlessly kill innocent men, women and children because they unfortunately are not blessed with blond hair and blue eyes. The white races have particular love for the white skin, the black for the black, the yellow for the yellow, the brown for the brown, the pale for the pale, the red for the red. Others of a different complexion are at times viewed with suspicion and fear. Very often to assert their racial superiority they resort to brutal warfare, killing millions by mercilessly raining bombs from the sky above. The pathetic incidents of the Second World War are striking examples which can never be forgotten by mankind.

    Amongst some narrow-minded peoples, within the wider circle of their ancient nations, there exist minor circles of caste and class where the so-called brotherhood of the powerful oppressors is so limited that the oppressed are not even permitted to enjoy bare human rights merely because of the accidents of birth or class. These oppressors are to be pitied because they are confined to their water-tight compartments.

    Metta is not religious brotherhood either. Owing to the sad limitations of so-called religious brotherhood human heads have been severed without the least compunction, sincere outspoken men and women have been roasted and burnt alive; many atrocities have been perpetrated which baffle description; cruel wars have been waged which mar the pages of world history. Even in this supposedly enlightened twentieth century the followers of one religion hate or ruthlessly persecute and even kill those of other faiths merely because they cannot force them to think as they do or because they have a different label.

    If, on account of religious views, people of different faiths cannot meet on a common platform like brothers and sisters, then surely the missions of compassionate world teachers have pitifully failed.

    Sweet metta transcends all these kinds of narrow brotherhood. It is limitless in scope and range. Barriers it has none. Discrimination it makes not. Metta enables one to regard the whole world as one's motherland and all as fellow beings.

    Just as the sun sheds its rays on all without any distinction, even so sublime metta bestows its sweet blessings equally on the pleasant and the unpleasant, on the rich and the poor, on the high and the low, on the vicious and the virtuous, on man and woman, and on human and animal.

    Such was the boundless Metta of the Buddha who worked for the welfare and happiness of those who loved Him as well as of those who hated Him and even attempted to harm and kill Him.

    The Buddha exercised metta equally towards His own son Rahula, His adversary Devadatta, His attendant Ananda, His admirers and His opponents.

    This loving-kindness should be extended in equal measure towards oneself as towards friend, foe and neutral alike. Suppose a bandit were to approach a person travelling through a forest with an intimate friend, a neutral person and an enemy, and suppose he were to demand that one of them be offered as a victim. If the traveller were to say that he himself should be taken, then he would have no metta towards himself. If he were to say that anyone of the other three persons should be taken, then he would have no mett? towards them.

    Such is the characteristic of real metta. In exercising this boundless loving-kindness oneself should not be ignored. This subtle point should not be misunderstood, for self-sacrifice is another sweet virtue and egolessness is yet another higher virtue. The culmination of this metta is the identification of oneself with all beings (sabbattata), making no difference between oneself and others. The so-called "I" is lost in the whole. Separatism evaporates. Oneness is realized.

    There is no proper English equivalent for this graceful Pali term Metta. Goodwill, loving-kindness, benevolence and universal love are suggested as the best renderings.

    The antithesis of metta is anger, ill-will, hatred, or aversion. Metta cannot co-exist with anger or vengeful conduct. The Buddha states:

    "Hatreds do not cease through hatreds:
    through love alone they cease. [1]"

    Metta not only tends to conquer anger but also does not tolerate hateful thoughts towards others. He who has metta never thinks of harming others, nor does he disparage or condemn others. Such a person is neither afraid of others nor does he instill fear into any.

    A subtle indirect enemy assails metta in the guise of a friend. It is selfish affection (pema), for unguarded metta may sometimes be assailed by lust. This indirect enemy resembles a person who lurks afar in the jungles or hills to cause harm to another. Grief springs from affection but not from metta.

    This delicate point should not be misunderstood. Parents surely cannot avoid having affection towards their children and children towards their parents; husbands towards their wives and wives towards their husbands. Such affection is quite natural. The world cannot exist without mutual affection. The point to be clarified here is that unselfish mett? is not synonymous with ordinary affection.

    A benevolent attitude is the chief characteristic of metta. He who practises metta is constantly interested in promoting the welfare of others. He seeks the good and beautiful in all but not the ugliness in others.

    ---

    How to Practise Metta

    A few practical hints are given below to practise this meditation on loving-kindness.

    Metta should be practised first towards oneself. In doing so a person should charge his mind and body with positive thoughts of peace and happiness. He should think how he could be peaceful, happy, free from suffering, worry and anger. He then becomes the embodiment of loving-kindness.

    Shielded by loving-kindness, he cuts off all hostile vibrations and negative thoughts. He returns good for evil, love for anger. He becomes ever tolerant and tries his best not to give occasion for anger to any. Himself beaming with happiness, he injects happiness into others not only inwardly but also outwardly by putting his metta into practice in the course of his daily life.

    When he is full of peace and is free from thoughts of hatred, it is easy for him to radiate loving-kindness towards others. What he does not possess he cannot give to others. Before he tries to make others happy he should first be happy himself. He should know the ways and means to make himself happy.

    He now radiates his loving-kindness towards all his near and dear ones individually and collectively, wishing them peace and happiness and freedom from suffering, disease, worry and anger.

    Diffusing his thoughts of loving-kindness towards his relatives and friends, he radiates them also towards neutrals. Just as he wishes for the peace and happiness of himself and of his near and dear ones, even so he sincerely wishes for the peace and happiness of those who are neutral to him, wishing them freedom from suffering, disease, worry and anger. Finally, though this is somewhat difficult, he should radiate his mett? in the same way towards those (if any) who are inimical to him. If, by practising metta, he could adopt a friendly attitude towards those thought to be inimical towards him, his achievement would be more heroic and commendable. As the Buddha advises --"Amidst those who hate let him live free from hatred."

    Starting from himself he should gradually extend his metta towards all beings, irrespective of creed, race, colour, or sex, including dumb animals, until he has identified himself with all, making no distinction whatever. He merges himself in the whole universe and is one with all. He is no more dominated by egoistic feelings. He transcends all forms of separatism. No longer confining himself to water-tight compartments, no longer influenced by caste, class, national, racial, or religious prejudices, he can regard the whole world as his motherland and all as fellow beings in the ocean of life.
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-11-2018 at 01:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Thank you for this Jundo! This seems like it would be a great way to find peace, and to begin turn my hatred into love and compassion. I'm going to print out the chant and get familiar with it.

    Gassho,
    John

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo ... I agree. I actually do my metta practice during my evening zazen, I use it for reflection on the day as well.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Thank you Jundo ... I agree. I actually do my metta practice during my evening zazen, I use it for reflection on the day as well.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    Just for the understanding of newcomers, and to clear things up, you mean you do it before our after seated Zazen, because when sitting Zazen there is only sitting Zazen ... and even though Zazen has no "before" or "after" and everything in life is Zazen! ... and even though ultimately there is no you, no one in need of Metta, and only Buddha sitting Zazen ...

    Gee, sometimes to "clear things up", you have to first make a mess of things!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Just for the understanding of newcomers, and to clear things up, you mean you do it before our after seated Zazen, because when sitting Zazen there is only sitting Zazen ... and even though Zazen has no "before" or "after" and everything in life is Zazen! ... and even though ultimately there is no you, no one in need of Metta, and only Buddha sitting Zazen ...

    Gee, sometimes to "clear things up", you have to first make a mess of things!

    Gassho, J
    Thanks Jundo, my bad ... I do it after I have finished my zazen.

    Guess my fingers were doing zazen while my brain was responding to the thread.

    Thanks for catching that.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  7. #7
    I have been practicing metta for quite awhile now, and I can honestly say, it has changed me for the better in so many ways.

  8. #8
    Gassho Jundo

  9. #9
    I have actually been doing Metta practice once weekly for almost a year now - I practice it in a Compassion and Healing meditation class I attend every week. This is the meditation I fall back on when I am sitting at a red light, folding laundry etc. I like it because somehow it makes me feel connected to everybody and I like that feeling

    Thank You Thank You Jundo

  10. #10
    I had an experience today, a rush of emotions of frustrations and sadness. I took my dog (Yes I got a new dog, will post about that another time) for a walk, and started to chant metta. I was amazed at the transformation in my mind, and then in my heart.

    Thank you all, for this beautiful practice, metta, zazen, all of it.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  11. #11
    I first read this thread last weekend. Since I have added it to my evening zazen. I can say that it has added a great deal in terms of accepting aversion towards others much more than I expected, and only in a weeks time.

    Thank you for this suggestion Jundo, and everyone else.

    Gassho,
    Brooks sat today.

  12. #12
    I've been doing metta practice in many variants, feels like 'May all beings that see me as friend, enemy, or neutral be free of suffering, full of equanimity, and at ease in their ills' might make sense too.

    Sent from my ALCATEL ONETOUCH P310A using Tapatalk
    A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope. - Dean Koontz

  13. #13
    Do you recommend doing metta in the zazen posture?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Greggorious View Post
    Do you recommend doing metta in the zazen posture?
    Hi,

    I would say, no, it can be done at any time and any place. Gassho, Jundo SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Thanks so much for this post. While of course the active, "thinking" element of metta isn't a part of shikantaza, I was wondering if folks consider it to be there in a sort of elemental form. One of my teachers talks a lot about "aozora" (in Japanese), or "clear sky." He emphasizes that when shikantaza is in fact "just sitting," it's taking place in that "clear sky," free of the clouds of thinking mind. And one characterstic of clear sky that is naturally present is compassion. Traditionally in the Therevada, "metta" (loving kindness) and "compassion" (karuna) are kindred but seperate abodes. But I've noticed in Japanese influenced circles they tend to be interchangable. Maybe not surprising, because in Japanese the metta process Jundo describes is often called "jihi-meisou," literally "compassion meditation." So I guess my question is two pronged: First, what do folks make of the distinction between metta and compassion, if there really is one, and second, is this something that folks find naturally arises in shikantaza? Or is the method indeed necessary for its cultivation?

    Gassho

  16. #16
    Hi Chris,

    I can only answer for my own view. I believe that "compassion" and "loving kindness" do become all mixed together for Westerners, and that is okay. Yes, technically in Buddhist doctrine there is some distinction, but even in South Asian Traditions there is a fine line and overlap. Barbara O'Brian puts it this way:

    The classic explanation is that metta is a wish for all beings to be happy, and karuna is a wish for all beings to be free from suffering.
    http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbu...g-Kindness.htm

    I actually adjusted the wording of our Chant here to emphasize acceptance and equanimity toward all conditions a bit more than "happiness". (In much of Buddhism, when folks like the Dalai Lama speak of "happiness", one actually finds that they mean more along the line of "contentment and equanimity" even amid the hard days in life such as times of illness).

    It is often said that Compassion naturally arises with Wisdom in Shikantaza, especially as one develops a sense for the unity of all beings. Frankly, I do not think the process so automatic, and find Shikantaza more as a fertile soil from which the seeds of Compassion and Loving Kindness have the potential to grow if nurtured. I have seen quite a few Zen and other Buddhist folks who seem quite wise and proficient at Zazen and with quite highly developed "Wisdom", but who seem out of balance in that regard. The handful of Buddhist Teachers who also were abusive toward students (truly a small number, but they otherwise seemed very gifted as Teachers on the surface, with decades of experience) comes to mind, as does the sometime connection of Buddhism with Japanese militarism of the past.

    One reason the the Metta Verses have become popular among some Zen Sangha in the West, by the way, is to soften the sometimes hard, masculine "Samurai" feel to Japanese Zen that developed as it was practiced by in Japan over the centuries amid male dominated, Samurai culture. Soften the edges a bit.

    Are you still in Japan?

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-18-2015 at 07:23 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Hello Jundo,

    Thanks for your thoughts on that. The line the teacher I mentioned uses when they go through the compassion meditation steps is "May they be well and happy. May they be free of all suffering." So along the lines of what you said, both sentiments are included there. It's fascinating to see how the various traditions influence each other, particularly in the West. And then from that crucible some of those perspectives reach back out to influence the Asian traditions. Metta/compassion I'd certainly put on that list, as well as the current emphasis on mindfulness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Frankly, I do not think the process so automatic, and find Shikantaza more as a fertile soil from which the seeds of Compassion and Loving Kindness have the potential to grow if nurtured.
    I like the shikantaza as fertile soil simile. So in this case the intellect / thinking mind actually needs to engage in the cultivation, be working the soil in a particular way. It makes sense. Otherwise I guess you'd end up having all sorts of whatever's clever shooting up. I just wish I could figure out a way for the metta process to feel a bit less mechanical!

    Yes, I'm still up in Nagano. One of the guys who frequently joins our sitting group here has just moved down to Ibaraki. I suspect you'll be seeing him at your place one of these days soon.

    Gassho,

    Chris

  18. #18
    Hello Guehla, I practice metta and also find it a bit mechanical. At the end of my practice, I create a lovingkindness "egg" around myself for about 30 seconds, then expand it to my room, then to my house, my neighborhood, city, state, country, world, and universe, then sit for a minute with that GIANT egg radiating out to all and try to keep it while I rise and start my day. It helps me to engage a less cognitive, more emotional side.

    Sat today

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by danieldodson View Post
    Hello Guehla, I practice metta and also find it a bit mechanical. At the end of my practice, I create a lovingkindness "egg" around myself for about 30 seconds, then expand it to my room, then to my house, my neighborhood, city, state, country, world, and universe, then sit for a minute with that GIANT egg radiating out to all and try to keep it while I rise and start my day. It helps me to engage a less cognitive, more emotional side.

    Sat today
    Hi Dan,

    I actually feel, from your description, that it is not so different at all from what I feel in reciting Metta. I don't just mouth the words, but truly try to feel the good hopes and feeling radiating out into the world. When we are angry, we can surely feel and see our anger rippling out into the world, and this is the opposite of that. As said by Narada Mahathera, the Theravadana teacher I quote above:

    He now radiates his loving-kindness towards all his near and dear ones individually and collectively, wishing them peace and happiness and freedom from suffering, disease, worry and anger.

    Diffusing his thoughts of loving-kindness towards his relatives and friends, he radiates them also towards neutrals. Just as he wishes for the peace and happiness of himself and of his near and dear ones, even so he sincerely wishes for the peace and happiness of those who are neutral to him, wishing them freedom from suffering, disease, worry and anger. Finally, though this is somewhat difficult, he should radiate his metta in the same way towards those (if any) who are inimical to him. If, by practising metta, he could adopt a friendly attitude towards those thought to be inimical towards him, his achievement would be more heroic and commendable. As the Buddha advises --"Amidst those who hate let him live free from hatred."
    Ya really have to feel it, visualize it. If one symbolically visualizes the feeling's power, it becomes real ... much like visualizing the love in our child's heart when we travel is real, and the child feeling our love, even if we are thousands of miles away from home traveling and unable to tell them so.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-26-2017 at 12:32 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    beautiful way 2 start the day
    wishing all lifes PEACE
    Last edited by gilles; 06-06-2017 at 06:26 AM.

  21. #21
    Thanks Jundo! I now understand where the previous post was coming from! The tapatalk app has truly helped me to stay more engaged with Treeleaf! I am quite thankful!

    I have come across this type of practice before and done them. I also am beginning to open in understanding of why this would not replace Zazen (still working through those beginner videos just finished the different ways to sit one).

    I am really falling in love with this community!

    Sattoday10minincaronbreak
    In Sincerity
    Shane

    In Sincerity
    Shane
    In Sincerity
    Shane

  22. #22
    The first several times I tried Metta meditation, it felt wooden. Then one day some scammers called saying my wife had been kidnapped. Once the smoke cleared, I found myself sending them Metta. (my wife is a human rights lawyer and encounters some unsavory people, so this was a concern she had expressed before). Ever since then, I have built in a metta practice and have found it very powerful.

    Here is how I explained it at the time:

    This morning I received a call from two men claiming that my wife had been in a car accident with them, and they were now holding her in their basement with a gun to her head. It was a scam. None of it was true. But it was all very upsetting as I was trying to sort out what was going on.

    I was too shaken to immediately turn back to work, so I left the office to go sit Shikantaza Zazen. I found myself instead doing a loving kindness meditation. I had tried this practice a couple times before in a void, but it felt more like an empty form. This time it just flowed and felt very honest and natural. First I offered Metta to myself - I was shaken and needed it. Then to my wife, who I was so glad to talk to and hear that she was safe. I then thought of other victims of this scam - those like me who were only rattled - but even more so, I offered loving kindness to the people who got bullied into giving up the money the scammers demanded. It troubles me that some people will prey on the vulnerable, and that's why my wife and I both went into the law.

    And then it surprised me that I offered Metta to the men who had called me. I certainly did not plan on doing that, it just rose up naturally. It was just so clear to me in that moment that they needed peace too - maybe even more so then everyone else in the chain. The practice then flowed into a wish for all beings. Life can be so hard. We all need to feel safe and still, free of enmity, loving, grateful and kind, at ease our ills, and peacefully embracing all conditions of life.


    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...Metta-Practice

    Gassho

    Sean

  23. #23
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by PlatosGhost View Post
    The first several times I tried Metta meditation, it felt wooden. Then one day some scammers called saying my wife had been kidnapped. Once the smoke cleared, I found myself sending them Metta. (my wife is a human rights lawyer and encounters some unsavory people, so this was a concern she had expressed before). Ever since then, I have built in a metta practice and have found it very powerful.

    Here is how I explained it at the time:

    This morning I received a call from two men claiming that my wife had been in a car accident with them, and they were now holding her in their basement with a gun to her head. It was a scam. None of it was true. But it was all very upsetting as I was trying to sort out what was going on.

    I was too shaken to immediately turn back to work, so I left the office to go sit Shikantaza Zazen. I found myself instead doing a loving kindness meditation. I had tried this practice a couple times before in a void, but it felt more like an empty form. This time it just flowed and felt very honest and natural. First I offered Metta to myself - I was shaken and needed it. Then to my wife, who I was so glad to talk to and hear that she was safe. I then thought of other victims of this scam - those like me who were only rattled - but even more so, I offered loving kindness to the people who got bullied into giving up the money the scammers demanded. It troubles me that some people will prey on the vulnerable, and that's why my wife and I both went into the law.

    And then it surprised me that I offered Metta to the men who had called me. I certainly did not plan on doing that, it just rose up naturally. It was just so clear to me in that moment that they needed peace too - maybe even more so then everyone else in the chain. The practice then flowed into a wish for all beings. Life can be so hard. We all need to feel safe and still, free of enmity, loving, grateful and kind, at ease our ills, and peacefully embracing all conditions of life.


    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...Metta-Practice

    Gassho

    Sean
    Sean, a great story. I have been working on Metta a lot lately and cannot say I have quite reached that level. I seem to be in my own way.

    It has gotten better, but I feel being in the healthcare field and having to be so strong and independent my entire life has bittered me to a point.

    Not that I am heartless by any means, but rather desensitized.

    Thoughts?

    Sat twice today

    In Sincerity
    Shane
    In Sincerity
    Shane

  25. #25
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Maybe desensitized is not the right word... to be strong and compassionate in the face of trauma, to me, is a strength. I don't have it.

    Gassho, sat today, lah
    迎 Geika

  26. #26
    Girls I like the way you think!
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    Maybe desensitized is not the right word... to be strong and compassionate in the face of trauma, to me, is a strength. I don't have it.

    Gassho, sat today, lah
    In Sincerity
    Shane
    In Sincerity
    Shane

  27. #27
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    Girls I like the way you think!

    In Sincerity
    Shane


    Gassho, sat today, lah
    迎 Geika

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