Foundations of Meditation, Class IV, Notes and Assignments

I. Check ins:

A. The one situation you felt loved in?

B. Review: Befriending the Body Meditation; Befriending thoughts, emotions and moods meditation

  1. Need to learn to love ourselves; As we do this intimacy evolves within ourselves and hence with others
  2. Easier to see we are all in this together; there is more love available love for others; and more willingness to spring into action for others
  3. If we are not quite there, we just wish for others to be well for that is what we want for ourselves

Free Mother Lying on the Bed and Holding Her Baby in the Air Stock Photo

II. Benefactor meditation

A. About generosity

  1. Generosity is virtuous in Dharma practice and in all major spiritualities; generosity makes sense for all of us; when we give with no expectation this feels wholesome
  2. The practice is about moving from close hearted to open hearted
  3. Generosity is connected to renunciation: letting go of the self leads to more spaciousness for others
  4. Hence more inner space for empathy and compassion
  5. Open heartedness to practice giving with no expectations: From the Metta Sutta:
  6. “Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child  
  7. So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings
  8. Radiating kindness over the entire world.”
  10. Generosity is a contradiction to greed; Greed is filled with lacking, not enough, fear, anxiety, agitation, jealousy envy
  11. There are many ways to practice generosity
  12. Story of Anathapindika and the Beggar Girl:

Buddha Weekly Anathapindika bows before Buddha Buddhism

Anathapindika bows before the Buddha. He is famous as the benefactor who
donated the Jetavana retreat park to the Buddha and his followers.
B. The Benefactor
1. This is a person in your life who has demonstrated unconditional giving
2. If you lack a benefactor, use someone from history:C. Guided Benefactor Meditation Transcript
1. Finding a position of relaxed attentiveness
2. Settling into this body; sensing any sensations of touch within the body, sensing aliveness wishing this body
3. Noticing the rhythm of the breath and the upper or lower torso contract and expand
4. Inviting into this space of the body breathing an image of a person you may consider as a benefactor
5. Taking the time to sense whatever arises: could be appreciation, gratitude, happiness
6. Beginning your heartfelt wishes for this person’s happiness                                                                                            May you be safe and well
May you be peaceful
May you live with ease and kindness
(Pause)7. And switching the attentional focus to ourselves; can we be a benefactor to ourselves? May I be safe and well
May I be peaceful
May I live with ease and kindness
8. Allowing yourself to switch the attentional focus between the image of the benefactor and wishing them well and wishing yourself as a benefactor well. 9. Processing the Benefactor Guided Meditation.

III. Friendship Meditation
A. Thorough the sutras the Buddha is telling us the importance of wise friendship; “One can be expected to develop in the Noble Eightfold Path:”  (SN 45.2)

  1. Exercise: “What does friendship do for you?” and “What makes friendship hard?”
  2. The Buddha “Trusted friends are….” p37 “Boundless Heart” 
  3. Can we be a friend in the way of the previous word of the Buddha
  4. This is a challenge, but we are developing this attitudinal commitment of Metta to ourselves when we are perturbed with others; we have to walk through our aversion and fear 
  5. And then can we to be able to be a friend to all in the midst of their challenging behavior, emotions etc

B. Transcript: Friendship Guided Meditation 

  1. Establishing a posture of relaxed attentiveness. Having an attitude of gentleness, recpetivity.
  2. Allowing this body to breath: Bringing attention to the expansion and contraction of the torso. 
  3. Bringing to mind a situation of gladdening: a recent recollection of connection, warmth and happiness with another being.
  4. Witness the effect of this image on the area just beneath the sternum
  5. Bringing to mind a friend, past or present. Bringing to mind a recollection of being with this person.
  6. Witnessing the effect of this recollection on the body
  7. This metta practice is to activate the intention and any associated feeling of connection
  8. Beginning to wish this person well:

May you be safe and well
May you be peaceful
May you live with ease and kindness                                                                                                                                          (Pause)

Free Couple and a Baby Lying on Bed Stock Photo





IV. Assignments Week 4

A. 15 minutes formal practice per day

B. Read and study p41-51

C. As you move through the day see if you can see  ‘the neutral person” that person who you may not normally pay attention to. Then wish them well!