Questiong on Loving Kindness meditation

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Blake Barton 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #587

    jonas
    Member

    Hi!

    While having a period of several days of meditation I complemented with the Loving Kindness meditaiton from the appendix. A question that arose from doing that is what is the motivation on those specific states (freedom from suffering, freedom from ill-will, loving kindness, truly happy)? As an example I also wanted to genereate and whish for me and others a sense of powerfulness, or playfullness.

    I would guess that thoses states arises from meditaiton practice and it’s a way to start building the bridge from the other side as well?

    I also thought is was easier to focus on the postive aspect rather that feedom from ill-will and suffering. So instead focusing on peacfulness/friendliness and being at ease. Any comments on that?

    Best regards
    Jonas

    #588

    Hi Jonas,

    In the practice of loving-kindness, as I understand it, we’re essentially attempting to do two things. Firstly, we’re trying to evoke a state of profound ease and goodwill in the mind; and, secondly, we’re wishing for that mental state to be directed both outwardly to others and inwardly to ourselves.

    Which statements or sentiments are used to bring forth the feelings of ease and goodwill (e.g. “may I be free from suffering”) are often a matter of personal preference and dependent on one’s present mental state, so my sense is that we have a bit of a creative licence to play with these as we wish. What’s important, though, is whichever sentiments are used, or however we choose to phrase them, that they actually yield the *feeling* or *attitude* of genuine ease and friendliness in the mind. Once that feeling/attitude has arisen, we are working with that quality of the mind, which is distinct from the statements that were used to evoke them, to then wish others and ourselves well.

    In the process we may repeat statements/sentiments, or deploy new ones, to kindle the flames of ease and goodwill, calm and kindness, peace and benevolence, etc., and the mind will tend to push back and resist. But it will also leave openings. We are basically trying to become sensitive to those openings.

    For me, it feels like I’m gently sparring with my own mind, testing its defenses, studying its traps, and locating its weaknesses. In this context, these are the defenses, traps and weaknesses of a mind convinced that it is a separate entity, which often needs to be on guard and protect itself from all that exists “outside” of it. This aspect of mind seems both comic and tragic, for it is the posture of being guarded that is so often inherently disempowering, and which keeps the empowering nature of feeling connected at bay. Yet it persists, usually enabled by the intellect, which so often concocts seemingly sophisticated arguments about the minimal degree of love and kindness that is reasonable to inhabit in the modern world — or something like that.

    But if caught in action, defenses and traps seem to reveal weaknesses of the guarded mind, and they offer a backdoor into self-compassion. For it is through the tragic realisation that it is one’s own mind, so captivated by its story-telling, that it blocks the door to its own well-being, that one can spark the heart.

    #591

    jonas
    Member

    Hi Neslon, many thanks for your answer!

    I like your expression “creative licence” 🙂 and also as you say that we are intereseted and what’s being generated more that how it’s generated.

    Interesting to hear about your way of seeing and experiencing the meditation. Never though about it that way, to obesrve what happens in the mind when I try to generate those states.

    And I’ve felt that Loving Kindness meditation has open me up to being more receptive to those states, and feel inspration to continue the practice those days when I spend more time om meditation.

    If anyone has a comment on why we choose those specific states I would be even more thankful. As I write, for me it could be valuble to do the same wit ha state of powerfulness.

    Again, thanks for the answer.
    Jonas

    #599

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Hi Jonas,

    The point of this meditation it to generate positive feelings towards others and yourself. The practice can also help you break down barriers between yourself and others. If different phrases seem more likely to help you to do that, then I would encourage you to give them a try to see how they work.

    Blake – Dharma Treasure Teacher in Training

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