new to metta meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

new to metta meditation

Postby pathfinder4570 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:19 am

Hey Guys,
I am new to metta meditation, but I am not new to meditation. I have used holosync, which is a binural beat program, for awhile. I have also used lifeflow, and regular meditation. Metta meditation is completely new to me. I have been trying it and it is making me feel highly nervous and stressed out. I work in sales, and I use to use my hatred and anger as confidence, and it served me well. However, now I have chosen to flow love towards my boss and others who are negative toward me. I say to myself " (Boss Name) be free from anger, be free from danger, be at ease in all aspects of life, be happy, be healthy. I just feel a major loss of power, and I cannot correctly explain this feeling. Is this what it feels like to have my ego decimated ?
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:39 am

Welcome to the forum. If I may I would suggest spending sometime developing and cultivating metta for yourself before moving on to you "enemies ." If you don't mind may I ask where you learner metta meditation because there is often an order in which it is done. If you're interested I would be more than happy to give you some links and pointers. I wish you all the best. Mettaya. :heart:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby mirco » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:47 am

Maybe then this teacher is of any benefit for you then. "Metta in daily life" is one of his themes.
http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/metta.htm

Regards
I get what I give
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby pathfinder4570 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:48 am

To be honest, I learned about metta mediation through a guided mp3. I am interested in Buddhism as a philosophy, I am a christian, but I feel Buddhism as a way of life has helped me.
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby James the Giant » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:08 am

pathfinder4570 wrote:However, now I have chosen to flow love towards my boss and others who are negative toward me.

Like Khalil Bodhi says, it's more usual to get established with giving metta to yourself first.
Then when you are firmly established with that (maybe a few weeks or so) add on giving metta to people who you like and care for.
Then a few weeks (or days) later and you're good with that, add on sending metta to people you are neutral towards.
Then a few weeks later and you are solid with that, only then go to sending metta to people you have negative feelings towards.

It's a gradual thing. Don't try to jump in the deep end and send metta to people you don't like at first. It'll backfire and jam you up.

If you are the book-reading type, Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg is an excellent book about how to do it.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:46 pm

I would recommend pervading metta ("friendliness, strong positive regard") without imagining people. In this way, any being which appears to you is enveloped right away, without there being any effort to send anything to imagined faces.

Properly speaking, the brahmavihara instructions in the Nikayas ask us to pervade the surround, rather than to send it to certain people.

:heart:
    "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: new to metta meditation

Postby James the Giant » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:09 pm

daverupa wrote:Properly speaking, the brahmavihara instructions in the Nikayas ask us to pervade the surround, rather than to send it to certain people.

Gosh, that's very different from what I've been taught at retreats, etc. I must have a look at the actual suttas.
Thanks Dave.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:19 pm

Dave's right, actually. All of the way that metta is taught to most of us is from the commentaries. Mettaya.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:25 pm

do you mean directionally, like may all beings in the north be happy, etc....all beings in the ten directions?
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Re: new to metta meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:33 pm

befriend wrote:do you mean directionally, like may all beings in the north be happy, etc....all beings in the ten directions?


Here's a cite:

AN 4.125 wrote:"Here, bhikkhus, a certain person abides with his heart imbued with loving-kindness extending over one quarter, likewise the second quarter, likewise the third quarter, likewise the fourth quarter, and so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself; he abides with his heart abundant, exalted, measureless in loving-kindness, without hostility or ill-will, extending over the all-encompassing world.


And we know what the "all-encompassing world" means - not the objective cosmos, but the six sense spheres (note that citta is imbued, such that citta brings the brahmavihara with it, as it were, as opposed to there being a 'sending' of metta in some way).
    "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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