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Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:53 pm
by Inedible
It seems like I am getting something wrong with metta. When I am alone and well rested and things are the way I like them it feels easy to generate strong metta. Then when I am around people I feel more sensitive and easily irritated and it turns into strong resentment. How do you keep your metta going in the face of real people?

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:26 pm
by SteRo
Inedible wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:53 pm It seems like I am getting something wrong with metta. ...


Don't get obsessed with metta ... there are alternatives as to antidots against aversion.

"There are these five ways of subduing hatred by which, when hatred arises in a monk, he should wipe it out completely. Which five?

"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should develop good will for that individual. Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should develop compassion for that individual. Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should develop equanimity toward that individual. Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should pay him no mind & pay him no attention. Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should direct one's thoughts to the fact of his being the product of his actions: 'This venerable one is the doer of his actions, heir to his actions, born of his actions, related by his actions, and has his actions as his arbitrator. Whatever action he does, for good or for evil, to that will he fall heir.' Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

"These are five ways of subduing hatred by which, when hatred arises in a monk, he should wipe it out completely."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:37 pm
by Inedible
The problem with that is that metta is the best thing so far for reducing the default mode network in the brain. I just need to know how to protect my metta from people.

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:48 pm
by SteRo
Inedible wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:37 pm I just need to know how to protect my metta from people.
Mindfulness.

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:22 pm
by Mahabrahma
Metta has to do with people. One way to cultivate it is to plant good Buddhist roots in the soil of mutual connections between people.

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:28 am
by Idappaccayata
Try to think of metta as not only that good feeling you get when you're actively practising it on the cushion, but how you interact with others. Express metta through your actions. You can be annoyed with someone but still be kind and helpful.

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:25 am
by Inedible
So no one else gets up from a good meditation and on contact with the first human being wants to punch someone in the face. I know it isn't right. The better the meditation goes, the worse the aftereffects are.

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:52 am
by SteRo
Inedible wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:25 am So no one else gets up from a good meditation and on contact with the first human being wants to punch someone in the face. I know it isn't right. The better the meditation goes, the worse the aftereffects are.
What is "good meditation"?

Please consider:
A. There are anusayas or underlying or dormant tendencies.
1. sensuous greed - kama-raga
2. grudge - patigha
3. speculative opinion - ditthi
4. skeptical doubt - vicikiccha
5. conceit - mana
6. craving for continued existence - bhava-raga
7. ignorance - avijja

B. There are asavas or outflows or cankers:
1. the canker of sense desire - kamasava
2. ... of (desiring eternal) existence - bhavasava
3. ... of (wrong) views - ditthasava
4. ... of ignorance - avijjasava

C. There are kilesas or defilements:
1. greed - lobha
2. hate - dosa
3. delusion - moha
4. conceit - mana
5. speculative views - ditthi
6. skeptical doubt - vicikiccha
7. mental torpor - thina
8. restlessness - uddhacca
9. shamelessness - ahirika
10. lack of moral dread or unconscientiousness - anottappa

D. There are sanyojanas or fetters:
1. personality belief - sakkaya-ditthi
2. skeptical doubt - vicikiccha
3. clinging to mere rules and ritual - silabbata-paramasa
4. sensuous craving - kama-raga
5. ill-will - vyapada
6. craving for fine material existence - rupa-raga
7. craving for fine immaterial existence - arupa-raga
8. conceit - mana
9. restlessness - uddhacca
10. ignorance - avijja


So what is "good meditation" considering all these phenomena? You don't think that when you have had a sitting that caused temporary good feelings or relaxation then you have gotten rid of all these, no?
The Theravada doctrine has the Eightfold Path which is more than "good meditation".

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:58 am
by Mahabrahma
Inedible wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:25 am So no one else gets up from a good meditation and on contact with the first human being wants to punch someone in the face. I know it isn't right. The better the meditation goes, the worse the aftereffects are.
What's bothering you? Perhaps address that. Maybe you are missing something in your life that is causing a turbulent whirlwind of emotions inside of you.

Then again, if you learn to harness that energy you can become a powerful Dark Jedi, the Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some may find unnatural. :jedi:

Re: Metta is only easy when I'm alone.

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:31 am
by Bundokji
Inedible wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:53 pm It seems like I am getting something wrong with metta. When I am alone and well rested and things are the way I like them it feels easy to generate strong metta. Then when I am around people I feel more sensitive and easily irritated and it turns into strong resentment. How do you keep your metta going in the face of real people?
The brahmaviharaa, as a Buddhist practice, are wholesome mental states that are inseparable from wisdom. They are the emotional side of wisdom. Deepening your understanding of the teachings improves your skills in cultivating positive mental states and vice versa.

Wisdom implies understanding the three marks of existence, which include impermanence. If your practice is focused on the brahmaviharas, then studying the near enemy and the far enemy of each would assist you in practicing the middle way.