I. Foundations of Meditation: Lovingkindness, Class I
A. We are a community! Community Guidelines:
- to the best of your ability, consistently think well of the other members of class
- please feel free to break as needed
- please feel free to stop me and ask a question
- The most important part of the class! individual check ins: name and intention to be here.
B. Lakeland Insight Meditation Group Overview
- Upcoming activities: please sign up for the newsletter
- About donation (generosity) there is a box in the back of the room and one can can to our website and make a donation
C. Class assignments, Week I
- This weeks assignment is to read The Introduction p1-10 and Immeasurable Kindness p11-23 In “Boundless Heart”
- Listen to “What is Mindfulness” by Joseph Goldstein (see resources)
- Practice Mindfulness of Breathing or Mindfulness of Whole Body Breathing (see resources below)
- Practice mindfulness in one daily activity per day
- Consider the contemplation of a person, animal, situation that makes you feel safe; we will use this for later meditations.
D. Class overview
- attendance commitment
- purchase “Boundless Heart” by Christina Feldman
- Every week: check in; teach, mediate; processing
- Checks: after class I will take several of you after class and see how your practice is going
- Brahma Viharas: “Out of the soil of friendliness, grows the beautiful bloom of compassion, watered by the tears of joy, sheltered beneath the cool shade of the tree of equanimity.” Lonchempa
- We will cover the first 51 pages of “Boundless Heart”
- “There is No greater love than the immeasurable friendliness that can embrace all beings, all events and all experiences with unshakable kindness.” Christina Feldman”
- Meditation practice: many different ways, each person will find there own way
- Story By Love Alone: https://tricycle.org/magazine/maha-ghosananda
E. About mindfulness and mindfulness meditation
- Meditation is mental training to befriend experience
- Suffering is about disconnection with experience, leaving us with some turbulence, perturbation, dissatisfaction. This is a fracturing between the mind and what is happening. this is called suffering. This is the universal problem of human beings.
- We all want out of suffering. This insight meditation practices are a profound way of dealing with suffering. We face suffering in order to let go of suffering.
- Suffering is typically about deep patterns of insecurity. Ex: Not good enough or Do not matter.
- Sometimes suffering can be hard to discern. Ex: Lakes in Florida. Just because the lake is clear does not mean that the lake is healthy, just because the lake is dark does not mean the lake is dirty.
- The most important tool to let go of of suffering and to live a joyful life is mindfulness.
- When practicing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation helpful to have certain attitudes: gentleness; receptivity and non striving
- Mindfulness is available to all of us. Mindfulness is a natural way of relating to experience.
- What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a balance of attention and awareness. Mindfulness is a pure awareness of experience in this moment, right now.
- When we just observe our experience with mindfulness, there is no judging, evaluating, conceptualizing. This ability to just observe is called meta-cognitive awareness.
- Allow for peripheral awareness. We give our attentional focus to the breath, yet aware that there is a sound outside the window. This an important part of mindfulness training.
- Consider mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to be an operation of the mind. You are your own surgeon. You will need the cleanest and most efficient medical instruments and medical assistants you can gather.
G. Mindfulness Meditation
- Attention and awareness on an object for a sustained period
- Begin with attention and awareness of the breath
- Developing discernment (investigation) the ability to recognize the unwholesome or wholesome in the mind
- Mindfulness is wholesome.
- Energy (effort) the ability to let go of the unwholesome in the mind or cultivate the wholesome in the mind
- Huge in meditative practice: the intention to consistently align with the wholesome. Lovingkindness is also wholesome.
- Overview of mindfulness mediation instructions; finding a position of relaxed alertness and discipline to stay there; relax any tension in the body; bringing attention to the breathing in whatever area is the most compelling; mindfulness, attention and awareness on the sensations activated by breathing
- “What is happening in the mind now?” The mind wanders, typically to unwholesome. Discern this and let it go. Again and again and again.
Brach, T. (Host) Breath Awareness Guided Meditation 15 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awUKw-XCcRI Mindful Soul. August 2021.
Fronsdal, G. Guided Meditation: Mindfulness of Breathing.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/12692 Dharma Seed Audio Dharma. January 2021.
Goldstein, J. What is Mindfulness? https://dharmaseed.org/talks/player/51251.html Dharma Seed Dharma Seed. July 2018
Nhat Hanh, T. Mindful Breathing with Thich Nhat Hanh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J62F0Y6PKesSounds True. August 2020.