How to practice metta?

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How to practice metta?

Postby merakle » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:02 am

How should one go about practicing metta? I still feel like I don't really have a good grasp of what metta is, but all I've heard is that it's a good way to counter aversion.

I've always had a strong cynical/bitter view towards life, due to being born into a family that had many problems, etc. This has led to a generally low self-esteem throughout most of my life (i am in my early 20's), including a bout of depression for the past 2 years, although I am definitely out of it now. What really struck me was actually a recent meet-up I had with a friend from highschool whom I haven't seen for years, and halfway into the conversation he joked about how I sound so much bitter now. I guess I've finally come to realize that it's impossible hiding one's bitterness, and have decided that I want to do something about it, hence started looking into metta. Other people have mentioned that after practicing metta, their interactions improve greatly since one tends to "emit kindness," so to speak, and I certainly don't want bitterness/cynicism to dominate my life.
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Re: How to practice metta?

Postby befriend » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:47 am

your lucky to have a disposition that is receptive to the dharma, this alone is cause for gratitude in your life, and not bitterness. metta is like the sun, it is warm and shiney and includes ALL beings in its dispensation of comfort. metta will cause pleasant dreams, make your face radiant, stop nightmares, make you fall asleep easy, wake easy, people gods, and animals will love you. start practicing metta by direction good wishes towards yourself love yourself just as you are and mentally repeat these phrases. may i be free from danger, then pause a little while waiting for the emotional response to occur, then say may i be happy, may i be healthy, may i live with ease. between each line wait until the emotion kicks up before going to the next line. then think of a good friend, and repeat the phrases, pausing in between. then a neutral person meaning someone you have no liking or disliking towards. i wouldnt recommend doing metta with an enemy in the beginning because you are likely to cultivate hate towards them. in my experience its best to bring up the enemy after youve got a lot of momentum with the metta, and then loving the enemy becomes possible. good luck on your spiritual journey, rememeber how fortunate you are to have been born a human, to have been born with the buddhas teachings present, and to have an affinity towards the teachings, this should make you very happy and grateful.
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Re: How to practice metta?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:28 am

This is a small but very good book on metta from someone who spent a lot of time practicing metta:

http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_b.htm

Enjoy :smile:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: How to practice metta?

Postby Tex » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:02 am

Lengthy, but well worth reading:

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

(Chapter 6 is on the actual practice of metta meditation, but the whole thing is very good)
Last edited by Tex on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Re: How to practice metta?

Postby Jason » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:26 am

Maybe you'll find these two talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu helpful: Metta Means Goodwill and Metta Meditation. Also, you might want to check out his new essay, "Metta Means Goodwill."
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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