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”
What else needs to be said about a classic? This book literally changed my life. When I first read the book I was in a really bad spot in my life and need to “change my perspective” and sure enough this book taught me how.
The 10th chapter of the book is entitled “Shifting Perspective”. His Holiness explains his philosophy on perspective as such “The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects. Everything is of a relative nature.” He goes on to explain that allowing our perspective to be so narrow and self-center just furthers our problems and doesn’t allow us to see solutions.
The book, in my opinion, is required reading for anyone. It isn’t a Buddhist book, it’s a wonderful self discovery book written by a psychiatrist and a monk. The discussions are incredibly relevant to our busy, over-loaded society where issues of anxiety, depression, anger far outweigh those instances of true sublime happiness. We all need to learn this Art of Happiness. ~ Digging_the _Dharma
Although there is no certainty about what lies ahead, people live with the hope that all will go well for them. It is impossible to fulfill our life when we are utterly discouraged. But if we manage to keep our hopes in the future alive, we will be able to overcome all sorts of difficulties and go on living. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
“The fourth reminder is to awaken lovingkindness. This is the ability to bring nonjudgmental awareness from the heart to the unwanted aspects of “me.”
This reminder can’t be overemphasized. It’s so natural to want to confirm what is most negative about ourselves that we don’t even think about activating compassion or kindness.
In fact, much of the heaviness of our distress comes from the belief that we should be different.
Especially after practicing for a few years, we think we shouldn’t still be so reactive. We think we should be beyond our conditioning. But practice doesn’t work that way.
Yet when we soften our self-judgment with lovingkindness, the sense of drama and heaviness lightens considerably. ” ~ Bursting the Bubble of Fear by Ezra Bayda (Tricycle article) Please read the entire article here . It is well worth your time, at least in my opinion.
I chose this quote because it brought to mind recent conversations. Some of the conversations were with friends and family and some were within myself.
Being gentle & loving with ourselves …we can be gentle & loving with others.
Namaste and Enjoy your moments!
When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince.
Collectively, these analogies make an important point: Meditation is a skill, and mastering it should be enjoyable in the same way mastering any other rewarding skill can be. The Buddha said as much to his son, Rahula: “When you see that you’ve acted, spoken, or thought in a skillful way—conducive to happiness while causing no harm to yourself or others—take joy in that fact and keep on training. ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu
This daily dharma came to me today and as always, was right on time.
Most of the time, we feel like we should be ‘the best’ or dare I say it, ‘perfect,’ from the start of anything we attempt to do.
Those feelings of ‘should be’ keep us from learning, growing, and becoming the true person we are.
Meditation is a skill (as stated above). So how can I expect to be ‘good’ at anything if I do not practice?
It takes Practice.
We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama