Author Topic: How to practice Metta Bhavana??  (Read 1111 times)

behappy123

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    • vipassana
How to practice Metta Bhavana??
« on: December 25, 2016, 12:54:31 PM »
I wanted to ask in general how people practice Metta Bhavana?

I'm noticing that I can meditate without issue however that keeps me contained within my own self, however I don't feel as light or happy as I did after Vipassana.  My thoughts right now are closer to "I just want to stay in my own head and never come out" which isn't so bad, however I view that as trying to run away from humanity rather than trying to be a part of it.

My theory is if I can practice Metta Bhavana or at least have the right mindset I can give back in a better way.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

lexandrius

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    • Theravada
Re: How to practice Metta Bhavana??
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 04:15:11 PM »
Hi Behappy,

May I start by saying that -for me- Metta is more than just  time spend on the cushion.
Metta has also to be practised outside yourself. It can even be called an attitude.

This does not mean you have to drop everything you are doing and start volunteering.
It's more in details of the daily life:
Picking up a bike that has fallen over on the street, opening a door for a stranger, saying 'hi' to someone or just smile...
Actually listening and paying attention to someone in need, even if you cannot give them any advice nor comfort.

It goes without saying that you do not want anything in return. You just genuinely care.
This caring can be very difficult for some and very easy for others.

This is where Vipassana or right mindfulness comes into play.
Just observe how you feel, pay attention from start to middle to end and afterwards.

You may feel good, very anxious, maybe even stressed or maybe nothing at all, no worries observe it.
Afterwards the feeling passes and your mind is all over the place again. Then you need to calm the mind again. 
This is how all practices of meditation are connected, or as the buddha said, practice the eightfold path. 

From time to time I do some metta on the cushion. But this is only when It feels right.
Somehow I have this sudden 'vibe of peacefulness/very still mind & heart' and I will start sending out love to family, friends, pets, strangers,...

I'm fairly new here so, other people might have other idea's about it, but this is my point of view.
Hope it helps,

Metta,

Lex

Nicky

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    • Pali
Re: How to practice Metta Bhavana??
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2016, 12:44:25 AM »
My thoughts right now are closer to "I just want to stay in my own head and never come out" which isn't so bad, however I view that as trying to run away from humanity rather than trying to be a part of it.

Generally, the mind follows the natural course of what it must cultivate. When the mind has done the work of cleasing, pacifying & making itself content, it will abound with metta.  :)


stillpointdancer

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Re: How to practice Metta Bhavana??
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2016, 11:02:30 AM »
I was taught Metta Bhavana as one of the two basic meditations, with the other being mindfulness of breathing, so I have always incorporated it in my practice. Giving Metta to yourself, then moving on to people you know and love, strangers, people who have hurt you or others, and then the whole universe, is a pretty powerful practice over time. The unconditional part is an essential element, giving without thought of recipients being 'worthy' or without thinking of getting anything back, or even without gaining any 'merit'.

Over time I brought in visualization of metta as white light, filling me then overflowing and expanding outwards to fill the room, them the surrounding area, then the city, and so on. The whole thing became more powerful for me when I visualized it as a ball of white light in my open hands, cascading down and expanding again. For me, the more you give, unconditionally, the better the meditation.

Another variation is breathing out white light of Metta every time you breath out. It's best for me when combined with breathing in dark clouds of bad karma. I breath it in then convert it to white light within me, using the karma itself as the fuel for the conversion. Eventually it feels as though you are just a conduit for the whole process, as though you are part of something much bigger.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 

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