Lovingkindness (metta)

Maitri or metta meditation, the cultivation of lovingkindness toward all beings
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    May I Be Happy Paid Member

    Walking along the Rhine River during my lunch break from teaching yoga in Basel, Switzerland, I felt mellow and full of gratitude to have such a wonderful job opportunity. Then my phone started to vibrate. Instantly my mood shifted, and a powerful sense of urgency took hold of me. It was like a Rube Goldberg chain reaction—I was balancing a cappuccino in one hand, fighting an uncooperative purse zipper with the other, trying to keep my glasses on my nose, and worrying that someone was calling from my mother’s nursing home. More »
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    The Buddha's Smile Paid Member

    The most difficult Buddhist idea to explain, I’ve found, is not interdependent arising or nonself, challenging though these are, but equanimity. How is it that one can neither like nor not like something without being emotionally detached or indifferent? Our sense of identity is so bound up with our desires that to many people the thought of being without preferences for one thing or another is tantamount to being stripped of the very quality that makes us human. Nonattachment is just so dry. Give me the pot-bellied laughing Buddha any day (who, of course, is not a Buddha at all but a Chinese folk deity), rather than the austere figure presiding over our meditation halls with barely a hint of a smile on his face. More »
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    A Change of Heart Paid Member

    For many years we’ve heard the same slogan called out again and again, a cry for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine: “Peace in the Middle East!” In October, this call will be heard once again, but this time it will not be shouted out or scrawled on posters. It will be cried out another way: by the silent presence of peace walkers. More »
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    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 »