metta meditation

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metta meditation

Postby chataranga » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:08 pm

Greetings folks,
I've a question on metta meditation. On another post (can't remember which one) someone wrote that metta should not be sent to one of the opposite sex. I do "blessings to..." meditations and metta meditations each day and do these for people of both sexes as well as "all beings everywhere". I would like to know which sutta(s) I can find some information on this or any other references that may be useful. Thank you and blessings to you and yours.
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Re: metta meditation

Postby Feathers » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:25 pm

This is the guide I follow: A brief metta guide

I gotta admit, I don't limit it to my own sex . . .
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Re: metta meditation

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:07 pm

I believe the Visuddhimagga is the first text to suggest the same-sex rule, but it only applies when you're doing the specific self>friend>indifferent>enemy path. If you're sending metta to the entire world, or to sizes or types of beings, it's totally appropriate to send it towards the opposite sex. It's just important to keep your metta during the "friend" and "indifferent" stage (and "enemy" I guess) to someone you aren't sexually attracted to.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: metta meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:14 pm

Radiate metta in all directions, but I would recommend not imagining things while doing it. Watch what happens when it's easy to radiate, and when it's not, and when it dissipates, and when it arises. Do it alone, do it in crowded places.
    "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: metta meditation

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:20 pm

daverupa wrote:Radiate metta in all directions, but I would recommend not imagining things while doing it. Watch what happens when it's easy to radiate, and when it's not, and when it dissipates, and when it arises. Do it alone, do it in crowded places.


I've been practicing metta this way too. Other than an interview with Venerable Analayo that I've read, I've never heard a monastic talk about metta practice this way, even those who don't generally use the commentaries as a guide to practice seem to do metta practice like it's done in the Visuddhimagga. Do you know of any other people (lay or ordained) who've written about this kind of metta practice, i.e. the non-imaginative kind?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: metta meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:05 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:Do you know of any other people (lay or ordained) who've written about this kind of metta practice, i.e. the non-imaginative kind?


I am not very well versed in who is teaching what, unfortunately, but perhaps others know something helpful in this respect.

For my part, I find the instructions in the Nikayas fairly sufficient. The practice tends to coalesce the brahmaviharas, such that all four are a single ...attitude, as it were. Mudita and karuna seem to arise on relevant occasions, while metta and uppekha underlie routine living amongst folk. As far as I can tell, it's quite efficacious with respect to right intention, as well.

:group:
    "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: metta meditation

Postby Feathers » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:22 am

Daverupa, could you point me in the direction of the relevant texts? :smile:
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Re: metta meditation

Postby Aloka » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:02 am

.

There's a 5 minute Metta instruction video from Ajahn Jayasaro for anyone who's interested...

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Re: metta meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:49 am

Feathers wrote:Daverupa, could you point me in the direction of the relevant texts? :smile:


Here is a good example. It is repeated in quite a few places.
    "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: metta meditation

Postby Mojo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:40 pm

Sending metta to women that I've found to be difficult to work with has been very helpful to my ability to maintain steady income and I've never become interested in nailing any of the them afterward.

I've also sent metta to all of my female family members. Again, no problem...
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Re: metta meditation

Postby Kamran » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:52 pm

Ajahn Jaysaro mentions at the end of the above video another way of doing metta that Analayo also talks about and that it is: Take the feeling itself as the object, perhaps making it rise by thinking of a kitten or a loved one, and without using discursive thought and without spreading to particular individuals allow the feeling to grow. This is noted as a powerful method by both jaysaro and analayo.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: metta meditation

Postby Feathers » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:50 pm

daverupa wrote:
Feathers wrote:Daverupa, could you point me in the direction of the relevant texts? :smile:


Here is a good example. It is repeated in quite a few places.


Thank you :smile:
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Re: metta meditation

Postby Sylvester » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:06 am

Kamran wrote:Ajahn Jaysaro mentions at the end of the above video another way of doing metta that Analayo also talks about and that it is: Take the feeling itself as the object, perhaps making it rise by thinking of a kitten or a loved one, and without using discursive thought and without spreading to particular individuals allow the feeling to grow. This is noted as a powerful method by both jaysaro and analayo.



It's a bit of a pity that Ajahn Sujato does not have the time to edit the letters he exchanged with another monk on Ajahn Mahachatchai's metta practice. But having done a metta retreat with Ajahn Sujato, I realised what was going on and asked Bhante. He confirmed my intuition - the Mahachatchai method and the Ajahn Brahm method are essentially satipatthana, with a twist. The intention of metta was simply a recurring springboard from which contemplation of each of the 4 establishments of mindfulness are carried out.

This is starkly borne out by a recurring instruction in the retreat - when generating the intention of metta, do NOT radiate it. Simply be aware of the intention, watch what it does to the body, the feelings etc etc. The radiation is done only upon arising from the satipatthana aspect.

PS - if anyone else has a copy of those letters, Bhante Sujato requests that they do not be circulated again. Firstly, they were leaked illegally from the WPN computers. Secondly, he wishes to run through the instructions personally with Ajahn Mahachatchai to verify the instructions, as the Q&A were mediated through an intermediary.
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Re: metta meditation

Postby chataranga » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:15 pm

Thank you to all for taking the time to give some input and helping me to understand metta a bit better. Blessings to all.
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Re: metta meditation

Postby alan... » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:05 pm

chataranga wrote:Greetings folks,
I've a question on metta meditation. On another post (can't remember which one) someone wrote that metta should not be sent to one of the opposite sex. I do "blessings to..." meditations and metta meditations each day and do these for people of both sexes as well as "all beings everywhere". I would like to know which sutta(s) I can find some information on this or any other references that may be useful. Thank you and blessings to you and yours.


the buddha said to send it to everyone in the universe. i don't know that he ever taught to send it to a specific person. the risk is sending it to someone you are sweet on and it turning into a romantic attachment instead of non specific love. solution? follow the buddha's actual teaching and send it to everyone equally. it's a very vast feeling, very non specific.

i could be wrong here, but all the suttas i have read teach it like that. i've never seen one where he says "generate metta for your best bro, but not your best gal."

see the metta sutta
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