Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

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Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

Postby 0pper » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:22 am

As a person who is newly trying to follow the Dharma I find many things about Buddhism so wonderful & positive. One of the things I am currently working on is Loving-Kindness. To be blunt, it doesnt come to me easily. At this point, I have to write down a list of reminders to do things that are selfless and kind. For example, I am making a point to serve my wife with a large cup of water with ice cubes or a cup of tea on a daily. Sounds minor I know, but I get so frustrated with myself, because I often forget. I think some of these things come naturally to some people, but I find I really have to work at expressing kindness. I am not saying I'm a jerk. I'm a pretty nice guy, but I want to go farther than that, and express thru my actions, Loving-Kindness as a step towards progress in Buddhism and just being a better person in general.

I guess I can be pretty absent minded sometimes. I think I need to focus on others more and be less in "my own world".... not having the presence of mind to consider whats happening with others around me.

Besides just simply forgetting to do kind actions, sometimes I just feel lazy and don't feel like pushing myself to do these things.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Re: Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:36 am

Don't forget to extend loving kindness and forgiveness towards yourself.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

Postby Cal » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:13 am

It's not clear from your post whether you actually practice Metta/Loving-kindness meditation (or "Metta Bhavana")? Not all Theravadins I meet do this, but I personally have found loving-kindness meditation very beneficial in improving my own mood/attitude, and often in improving relationships with others.

Let me know if you need further information and I'll track down some links.

Metta

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Right Speech: It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. [AN 5.198]

Personally, I seem to gain the most insight when I am under the most pressure, when life is at its most unpleasant. There is something in me on those occasions which feels that there is nothing left but to be aware of 'this'. Ajahn Sumedho - Don't Take Your Life Personally, p288
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Re: Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:16 am

Reminder cards is a good idea!
this practice you are cultivating would also improve your mindfulness generally, but do remember you need to know your limits, if you find ill will arising due to these take a time out, and recollect your own virtues, and the fact you are trying to improve in this regard is a virtue, and do some metta towards yourself.
and there are threads about how different people practice metta on DW so just use the search bar at the top right, and if you want add this as a suggestion.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Loving-Kindness... its not easy!

Postby Tex » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:42 pm

If you haven't read these already, they might help:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html

http://www.amazon.com/Lovingkindness-Re ... 1570621764

Practicing metta at all times is not easy. Some people make it difficult to even be equanimous toward them, much less feel loving-kindness for them. Other distractions and life responsibilities interfere. It is a big challenge, and your struggles are shared by most of us.

The fact that you have already cultivated the desire to practice metta is a huge step, even if you're struggling with the actual practice. Stick with it, and as tilt said, make sure you start with extending loving-kindness to yourself.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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