Metta practice is the cultivation of our capacity for lovingkindness. It does not involve either positive thinking or the imposition of an artificial positive attitude. There is no need to feel loving or kind during metta practice. Rather, we meditate on our good intentions, however weak or strong they may be, and water the seeds of these intentions. When we water wholesome intentions instead of expressing unwholesome ones, we develop those wholesome tendencies within us. ~ Gil Fronsdal, “May We All Be Happy”
”Just as there are mushrooms that look and taste delicious but are mortally poisonous to anyone imprudent enough to eat them, so too, wealth, fame, and sensual pleasures, which seem very attractive at the outset, will end in bitter disappointment. Conversely, just as medicine that has a very bitter taste may nevertheless be effective cure for sickness, so too spiritual practice -despite the difficulties and ordeals, both physical and mental it may entail- leads nevertheless to an indestructible bliss beyond all trace of suffering”.
– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche –
A meaningful life must also answer the question, “What have I brought to the world?” If I can look at a day and see that virtue, happiness, truth, and living an altruistic life are prominent elements, I can say, “You know, I’m a happy camper.” Pursuing happiness does not depend on my checkbook, or the behavior of my spouse, or my job, or my salary. I can live a meaningful life even if I only have ten minutes left.
Practice of giving and receiving, we take on, through compassion, all the various mental and physical sufferings of all beings; their fear, frustration, pain, anger, guilt, bitterness, doubt, and rage, and we give them, through love, all our happiness and well-being, peace of mind, healing, and fulfillment.
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Tonglen is a great practice. It does take practice also. 🙂 And not everyone feels comfortable doing this…exchange. If you do not feel comfortable with Tonglen, do not worry. There are many ways to help others and you will find one you do feel comfortable with. ~ Debra
*Saga Dawa Düchen (Wyl. sa ga zla ba dus chen), the ‘Festival of Vaishakha’ — one of the four major Buddhist holidays. It occurs on the full moon (the 15th day) of the fourth Tibetan lunar month, which is called Saga Dawa in Tibetan. It celebrates Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment andparinirvana. At the age of thirty-five Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya. This day also marks the anniversary of his parinirvana at Kushinagara.
*information from Rigpa Shedra site
- May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness which is without suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from both attachment and hatred, holding some close and others distant.