Today, and for the past few weeks, this blog has included teachings about the first of the four immeasurables – metta. Next week we will start to explore karuna, or compassion. We invite you to read along with us during the next several weeks, and you can catch up on previous weeks here. Please feel free to comment below and let us know how these practices resonate with you.
Metta is the ability to embrace all parts of ourselves, as well as all parts of the world. Practicing metta illuminates our inner integrity because it relieves us of the need to deny different aspects of ourselves. We can open to everything with the healing force of love. When we feel love, our mind is expansive and open enough to include the entirety of life in full awareness, both its pleasures and its pains. — SharonSalzberg, from LovingKindness.
In Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, Sharon describes the progression of metta: “The classical progression of lovingkindness meditation is that you start with offering lovingkindness to yourself and move on to others with whom you have varying degrees of difficulty. After ourselves, over time we will meditate on someone we admire and respect, then a friend, then a neutral person such as your dry cleaner or a shopkeeper, then a person who is somewhat challenging for you, and then all beings.” Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts and is one of our favorite teachers. More of her teachings can be found here.
In this short video, Sharon guides us through how to open our hearts to others during a particularly difficult situation – a traffic jam!
From road rage to politics, it may sometimes feel like bitterness and divisiveness are everywhere. In his upcoming class “Beyond Tribalism“, Robert Wright brings the good news that Mindfulness and Buddhist practices can save the world from “tribalism”. Robert Wright is the author of the NY Times Bestseller, Why Buddhism Is True. He teaches that we can learn to identify and overcome “us versus them” thinking by practicing mindfulness. The course includes guided meditations designed to heal divisions.
Sometimes during trying times, we may need a visual reminder of the intentions that we set during meditation.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free