I. Foundations of Meditation: Lovingkindness, Class II
A. Check ins: report on your experience this week
B. Review: mindfulness and mindfulness meditation
- Mindfulness: is wholesome, is present moment observation of experience without judgment
- Mindfulness Meditation mindful attention and awareness
- We started with mindfulness, because the lovingkindness practices are relational: we need be present to be loving/compassionate. We also need be aware of what is happening in the mind
- Meditation: having an attitude of gentleness and receptivity
- Ex, driving: we are attending to the traffic and have awareness of the traffic and pressure on the accelerator
C. Lovingkindness in our life
- The community is critical in spiritual life and for our happiness.
- Loving kindness, or Metta is friendliness and kindness. We are all dependent on one another. We need to love. We need to be loved. This is not romantic love. We have all experienced kindness; the practice is to become kindness. Reflection: a time when you loved or were loved by a friend or a mentor
- Metta is foundational attitude of all meditative development. Metta is foundational to our ethical life. Metta is an intention to befriend.
- Metta is not an emotion but an abiding, a concentration, and insight practice (look at Rodney’s book) ?
- The practice is to wake up when we are in the misery of aversion, fear and judgement of self or other. When the mind is in this place, we feel separated and we have become self centered. This is called delusion. Our most important strategy is to recognize this suffering and let it go. We then come back to the intention to befriend.
- Becoming lost is the habit of the mind. What not to practice is greed, hatred and delusion. This is consistently when we are not mindful. Honeyball discourse: whatever we dwell upon becomes the shape of the mind.
- This person of the Buddha: “to change our mind of the moment was to change the world of the moment.”
- So lovingkindness practice is to recognize delusion and to keep coming back to the the intention to befriend. Lovingkindness is to consistently intend to live in friendliness and kindness. Just as our suffering can be vast, so can ability to love.
- The practice of loving kindness to widen the circle of whom we love.
- Aversion is rooted in fear narrative, hot, isolating, destructive; agitated and has other associated emotions; loving kindness is the intention to befriend, is the antidote to aversion. Less narrative in loving kindness
- Often aversion is a projection. The illusion that if others or myself improve then I will be happy
- Aversion as an internal loop; fear and aversion > affects perception > there will be a narrative > guilt and shame>sense of separation more aversion. This is called samsara. Ex: me with friends who have wealth
- Aversion is an energy drop. LK is an energy activator: joy
- Aversion can become our friend so that we gain insight to our suffering
- The path: learning to accept the unpleasant and to challenge the pleasant
- Mindfulness: what is happening now? More separation or less separation? What is my most important intention?
D. Guided meditation
- About gladdening practice as a doorway to lovingkindness
- About words or phrases as a way to hold our intention to befriend
- About loving ourselves
- If the words or phrases in class do not work for you, consider changing the phrases.
- Practice the gladding/befriending oneself 15 minutes per day.
- As you move through your day see if you can notice any moments of aversion and practice the intention to befriend yourself or the other.
- Read and study p23-31.