Lovingkindness (metta)

Maitri or metta meditation, the cultivation of lovingkindness toward all beings
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    The Whole of the Path Paid Member

    In the last few years, I’ve chosen to use the Metta Sutta, the Buddha’s sermon on impartial kindness, as my principal text. I’ve been particularly interested in teaching the Metta Sutta because I think it presents an overview of the entire practice path that the Buddha taught. It begins with the challenging and inspiring line, “This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness and who knows the path of peace,” and continues with instructions for morality practice, mental discipline, and the cultivation of wisdom. I love that this text is totally unequivocal. The cultivation of unshakable goodwill toward all beings, “omitting none”—a practice made possible through the “gladness and safety” that is the fruit of firm ethics—liberates the mind from “fixed views” so that its essential peace is undisturbed. More »
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    Tonglen on the Spot Paid Member

    Tonglen is the Tibetan practice of “sending and receiving.” Tong means “sending out” or “letting go”; len means “receiving” or “accepting.” Tonglen is ordinarily practiced in sitting meditation, using the breath. Put simply, the practitioner breathes in the bad and breathes out the good, taking on the suffering of other sentient beings. At first the practice may appear self-defeating, but as the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, “The more negativity we take in with a sense of openness and compassion, the more goodness there is to breathe out. So there is nothing to lose.” More »
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    Loving the Enemy Paid Member

    •As a mother would risk her lifeto protect her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings. With goodwill for the entire cosmos, cultivate a limitless heart: Above, below, and all around, unobstructed, without hostility or hate. Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, as long as one is alert, one should be resolved on this mindfulness. This is called a sublime abiding here and now. —The Buddha,from Sutta Nipata 1.8 • More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    An Everyday Aspiration Paid Member

    In early spring, I moved to a house in a village at the edge of Cambridge, England, where I work as a writer and administrator in a local Buddhist center. I share this small house overlooking cornfields with two friends, both of whom are also Buddhist. Though our living arrangements are not formally oriented toward communal practice, we take for granted that each of us will try our best to support the others; we know we can assume a certain vocabulary and a familiarity with shared ideals and approaches to our practice. So when one of my housemates upbraided me a few weeks back for not doing my share of the housework, he reminded me—without sanctimony—of the bodhisattva aspiration. More »
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    Being Love By Loving Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    A More Complete Attention Paid Member

    AdviceA young friend once came to me seeking advice. He had been to India, where he met a guru who had become very important to him. Now my young friend wanted to bring his father to that crowded, hot city, halfway around the world, to meet the guru. I thought about it for a moment, and then said to him, “You know, I don’t think it’s a very good idea. That particular city in India is very unpleasant. The food will be foreign, he may well get sick, and there will be annoying bugs. Besides, I myself found the scene around the guru kind of strange, and your father might well be repulsed by it. He may then dismiss all spiritual endeavor, which would be a terrible outcome. My suggestion is, don’t do it.” More »