Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

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Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby jackson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm considering dedicating a full day to Metta practice and maybe making it a monthly thing but am wondering if anyone has done something similar and how to structure it. Currently I'm thinking of spending an hour on each group of people, so spread Metta towards myself an hour, then teachers an hour, then parents an hour etc., but I'm definitely open to suggestions if anyone knows of a better approach.
Thanks and best wishes, :anjali:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:27 pm

Well, for my part I wonder: have you explored the sutta instructions for metta bhavana, which involves radiating metta instead of the imagined faces approach?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby Digity » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:16 pm

Might want to do a session of walking meditation in between each sitting to break things up a bit.
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby jackson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:22 pm

Hi Dave,
Thank you kindly for your reply. Are you referring to the instructions given in the Karaniya Metta Sutta? There's certainly some great advice in there, well worth reflecting deeply upon and definitely worthy of aspiring towards. I'll definitely look further into your suggestion. Thanks!
:anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:13 pm

jackson wrote:Hi Dave,
Thank you kindly for your reply. Are you referring to the instructions given in the Karaniya Metta Sutta? There's certainly some great advice in there, well worth reflecting deeply upon and definitely worthy of aspiring towards. I'll definitely look further into your suggestion. Thanks!
:anjali:


Hmm... well, I'd say nevermind about that sutta, but it's a preferential thing. I had the following in mind:

SN 46.54 wrote:'Come, monks — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will...

...develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby jackson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:59 pm

Digity wrote:Might want to do a session of walking meditation in between each sitting to break things up a bit.

Hi Digity,
Yes, there's no way I could sit all day! I'll definitely be alternating.
:anjali:
daverupa wrote:
jackson wrote:Hi Dave,
Thank you kindly for your reply. Are you referring to the instructions given in the Karaniya Metta Sutta? There's certainly some great advice in there, well worth reflecting deeply upon and definitely worthy of aspiring towards. I'll definitely look further into your suggestion. Thanks!
:anjali:


Hmm... well, I'd say nevermind about that sutta, but it's a preferential thing. I had the following in mind:

SN 46.54 wrote:'Come, monks — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will...

...develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go.


Hi again Dave,
Ah thank you, that is especially helpful, your input is greatly appreciated.
:bow:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby convivium » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:03 pm

thanissaro has important things to say about metta practice...
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby befriend » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:11 pm

i did about 3 hours of metta a day for a week straight, when i ended it abruptly. that morning my mind was filled with craving, because it had supressed the defilements, which is what samatha does. i recommend balancing it with vipassana to not have this happen. it was really intense,as a metaphor it was like i starved craving, so when it came back it was hungrier. it only lasted a little over an hour, but still something to be careful of.
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Re: Looking for advice on an Extended Metta Practice

Postby jackson » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:00 pm

convivium wrote:thanissaro has important things to say about metta practice...

Thank you convivium, I'll look into it.
befriend wrote:i did about 3 hours of metta a day for a week straight, when i ended it abruptly. that morning my mind was filled with craving, because it had supressed the defilements, which is what samatha does. i recommend balancing it with vipassana to not have this happen. it was really intense,as a metaphor it was like i starved craving, so when it came back it was hungrier. it only lasted a little over an hour, but still something to be careful of.


Hi befriend,
Thank you for the warning, it's definitely a matter of finding balance in the practice. What I found was that meditation was going really well, and I was dissecting the five aggregates fairly thoroughly and had some important insights into emptiness, but then I realized that I was beginning to relate to people a little more coldly and with less compassion than I had before the insights. So anyway, that's why I've decided to focus on metta more intensively, the Buddhist path is a path of heart, and I was beginning to just look at people as aggregates and not truly relating to the suffering they were experiencing. Anyway, there can definitely be pitfalls in the practice and that was certainly one I didn't see coming. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has heard of or experienced anything similar, and thank you kindly to everyone who has taken the time to respond. All your replies are much appreciated! :bow:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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