ellienihon: (Default)
from http://www.bodhicitta.net/Loving%20Kindness%20Meditation.htm
See also http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/allmetta.pdf

"Begin by repeating the following phrases over and over for 15-20 minutes once or twice daily in a quite place for several months. At first this meditation may feel mechanical or awkward or even bring up the opposite feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it is especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself, allowing whatever arises to be received in a spirit of friendliness and kind affection. In its own time, even in the face of inner difficulties, loving- kindness will develop."

"Sit in a comfortable fashion. Let your body relax and be at rest. As best you can, let your mind be quiet, letting go of plans and preoccupations. Then begin to recite inwardly the following phrases directed towards yourself. You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others."

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

"As you say the phrases, you may also wish to use the image from the Buddha's instructions: picture yourself as a young and beloved child, or sense yourself as you are now, held in the heart of loving-kindness. Repeat the phrases again and again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind."

"Practice this meditation repeatedly for a number of weeks until the sense of loving-kindness for yourself grows."

"When you feel ready, in the same meditation period you can gradually expand the focus of your loving-kindness to include others. After yourself, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has truly cared for you. Picture them and carefully recite the same phrases: May he/she be filled with loving- kindness and so forth. When loving-kindness for your benefactor has developed, begin to include other people you love in the meditation, picturing them and reciting the same phrases, evoking a sense of loving-kindness for them."

"After this, you can gradually begin to include others: friends, community members, neighbours, people everywhere, animals, the whole earth, and all beings. Then you can even experiment with including the most difficult people in your life, wishing that they, too, be filled with loving-kindness and peace. With some practice a steady sense of loving-kindness can develop and in the course of 15 or 20 minutes you will be able to include many beings in your meditation, moving from yourself, to a benefactor and loved ones, to all beings everywhere."

"Then you can learn to practice it anywhere. You can use this meditation in traffic jams, in buses and aeroplanes, in doctors' waiting rooms, in a thousand other circumstances. As you silently practice this loving-kindness meditation among people, you will immediately feel a wonderful connection with them -- the power of loving-kindness. It will calm your life and keep you connected to your heart."
ellienihon: (Default)
"Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem."

This is a huge struggle for me right now.
ellienihon: (Default)
"Victory breeds hatred. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he is contented and happy."
~The Dhammapada

This brings to mind something I heard a few weeks ago about not being attached to emotions. The speaker was talking about not only letting go of the painful thoughts, but also the joyful ones.

I have been contemplating my relationship to success and failure. The above quote seems eminently applicable. If I let go of my perceptions of both, it takes away the story behind it. Without the story, life can be peaceful and joyful. If happiness is dependent on success, each success brings a brief burst of happiness, followed by anxiety leading up to the next success/failure.

I'm certainly not "there" yet, and I feel I'm moving in the right direction.
ellienihon: (Default)
"Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question."

It's been a long while since I was in the desert and looked at the night sky. There's a particular peacefulness to it, as opposed to the mountains. The spaciousness and dry chill of the evening (unless there's a wind storm) somehow seem calmer and more connected to the world than the quiet isolation of the mountains. It calms me just to think of looking up and seeing the milky way.
ellienihon: (Default)
"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These things are your greatest treasures."
ellienihon: (Default)
"You cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run. To 'have' running water you must let go of it and let it run."
~Alan Watts
ellienihon: (Default)
Here's the Zen quote of the day:
"Enlightenment, the personal experience of Reality, is man's ultimate experience. The quest for this experience is the most difficult quest upon which he can embark. It demands of him faith, determination, sacrifice, and, above all, passion. Without the sustained sense of urgency which passion imparts, the goal cannot be achieved."
~Isshu Miura


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August 2013

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