May 21, 2012

Metta Practice and things to remember about its cultivation for the week

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for your enthusiasm for the teaching of metta and understanding of my cracking voice last night with this virus I've acquired.

Attached are the metta handout I passed last night in case any of you would like to send them to any friends, etc. Also, forgot to remind you all last night of the 5 week workshop that Baruch and I are beginning to teach this Thursday, May 24th from 630 to 830pm on the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness. This Thursday night we will begin with The Five Hindrances.

Just wanted to touch base and remind what you can think about in generating or maintaining a metta practice this week. Remembering the near enemy and the far enemy of metta - the near enemy is what masquerades itself as metta but is definitely not what it's all about. The near enemy is sentimental love. This is the love we have for another that has conditions. Ex. I will love you forever if you stay......... I will love you only if you do ......for me.......etc etc.  It's important to remember the "indiscriminate" aspect of metta in one of its two root meanings - that of "gentle" as in the gentle rain metaphor.

The far enemy of metta is its complete opposite - which is hatred. Remembering that there is a fine line between love and hate as the old song goes.

So this week, come up with your own personal and unique phrases that have meaning for yourself and spend some time in sitting meditation directing metta to yourself. Note how that feels and goes and bring it to the check-in next Sunday. One other time to practice metta that I forgot to mention last night in the talk is whenever one is standing in line somewhere during the day. Metta can be directed at everyone around, and most especially including the postman or cashier who is stressed because the line is long and they happen to be short staffed. And first and foremost, remember to take some breaths before and after directing metta, and just anytime during the course of the day to reground and balance once again.

May you have a fruitful week of practice, with metta, Pauletta

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