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 take a 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.

Free Photo Of Woman Meditating Stock Photo

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
  • 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 wuse 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
  • “There is No greater love than the immeasurable friendliness that can embrace all beings, all events and all experiences with unshakable kindness.” Christina Feldman”
  • Brahma Viharas: “Out of the soil of friendliness, grows the beautiful bloom of compassion, watered by the tears of joy, Longchenpa
  • sheltered beneath the cool shade of the tree of equanimity.”
  • 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
  • We cover mindfulness first, important to have the ability to be present and have knowledge of our intention in loving relationships
  • Story By Love Alone:  https://tricycle.org/magazine/maha-ghosananda/
  • We then will cover “gladdening,” befriending ourselves


F.. About mindfulness and mindfulness meditation  

  • Meditation is mental training to be consistently connected to life experiences, no matter what the experience. 
  • Suffering is about disconnection with experience, leaving us with  some turbulence, perturbation, dissatisfaction. This is a fracturing of the mind between human distress and our true nature, who we really are.
  • Of course we want to come out of this suffering. Insight meditation practices are a different profound way of relating to suffering, in order to let go of suffering. We are learning to befriend suffering. 
  • Our most important teacher is understanding suffering. Suffering is typically about deep patterns of insecurity. To understand suffering and to let go of suffering requires a tool kit. In the beginning 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 is mindfulness. Mindfulness is available to all of us. Mindfulness ia pure way of relating to experience. Within this purity is the healing from suffering. 
  • 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.
  • What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is awareness. Yet mindfulness is more than awareness. Mindfulness is a pure awareness in the present moment. Mindfulness is dwelling in the present without bias. Without judgements, opinions, beliefs etc. Mindfulness is recognition of experience, without rejecting or holding onto. Hence mindfulness is changing how we relate to experience. We have more skill to respond instead of react no matter what the experience. 
  • Humans have available to them “the ability to be aware of being aware.” This is called meta-cognitive awareness. We can be giving our attentional focus to our thinking or emotions and yet know that there is a sound outside the window. This an important part of mindfulness training.
  • An example of attention and awareness is in listening: we can attend to one aspect of listening such as the words, and in awareness hold tone of voice
  • When practicing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation helpful to have certain attitudes: gentleness; receptivity and non strivng
  • Guided Reflection on Mindfulness: discuss alert and relaxed posture;  Pick an item to bring your attention to, could be thinking, emotions, a bodily sensation or a sound. Keep your attention on this object for one minute. With you attention on this object can you notice things occurring on the edge of your awareness? Process.

Free Photo of Pathway Surrounded By Fir Trees Stock Photo


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
  • Energy (effort) the ability to let go of the unwholesome in the mind or cultivate the wholesome in the mind
  • Huge in meditative practice: aligning with the wholesome
  • Overview of mindfulness mediation instructions ; position im to plies 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.
  • Process

H. Q&A



Brach, T. Breath Awareness Guided Meditation 15 Min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awUKw-XCcRI  YouTube

Fronsdal, G. Guided Meditation: Mindfulness of Breathing. https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/12692 Dharma Seed

Goldstein, J. What is Mindfulness? https://dharmaseed.org/talks/player/51251.html Dharma Seed

Nhat Hanh, T. Mindful Breathing with Thich Nhat Hanh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J62F0Y6PKes YouTube