Loving-kindness and concentration

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  • #1837
    Profile photo of G C
    G C
    Member

    Hi everyone! First let me thank you all again for being so awesome and answering all my questions! 😀 I have a couple of questions about loving-kindness meditation.

    First, what specifically makes loving-kindness a concentration practice? I ask because when I practice it, there are a few things going: there are visualizations of various beings, there is the chant (may “X” be free from suffering), there is the joy that arises from this practice, etc., and it is not clear which part or parts are supposed to be the focus for concentration.

    Second, is the joy that arises the emotion of loving-kindness, or is deriving from some other emotion? This is related to the first question because it isn’t clear to me whether I should be making this joy the focus or whether that would be the wrong thing since I’d just be observing myself being happy rather than encouraging an attitude of benevolence towards all creatures.

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    #1853

    Dear GC,
    So wonderful to be loving others. In answer to your first question, both repeating the phrases over and over, while simultaneously, ease-fully, sensing into / visualizing the presence of the one(s) you are offering these kind wishes to, all done with alertness and wakefulness, settles the mind into a concentrated state (a gathering, a unifying). As the mind concentrates and settles, an expansive may joy arise, as it has done for you. If your intention is to deepen in this particular practice, allow the joy to arise, be, grow, dissipate, intensify; in short, allow it to do what it will do as part of the constellation of the overall experience as you continue to do the practice. You don’t need to take up the joy aspect as the intended object of your concentration, as it is a result of the unifying mind, which is a softening, a priming for deeper insight into the union of you and all.
    Lots of love,
    Shelly
    DT Teacher

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