PART TWO of TWO
- Meditation on Love/Friendship/Kindness
- Meditation on Compassion
- Meditation on Appreciative Joy
- Meditation on Equanimity
1. LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, KINDNESS
Take in relaxed, comfortable and upright position. Close the eyes and access a warm, caring, loving heartfulness towards life.
Be aware of the absence of ill will, and any desire to hurt or hate in the heart. Experience an authentic kindness and compassion towards one and all.
Generate this warmth to those who are in the immediate vicinity and those who are far away.
Cultivate this meditation so that the kindness of the heart becomes firm and steady in you, despite the many vicissitudes of existence.
Remember you can write your own kindness meditations, prayers and chants. Here is one example that you may wish to use.
A Loving Kindness Meditation
- May my teachers, community, loved ones, friends, and contacts be free from suffering and pain
- May my mother and father be free from suffering and pain
- May my brothers, sisters and relatives be free from suffering and pain
- May my children and grandchildren be free from suffering and pain
- May people appreciate their interdependence on each other and the environment
- May animals and creatures in the earth, on the ground, in the air, and under water live in safety and security
- May I abide with a warm heart, clear mind, and be free from pain
- May my daily activities through body, speech, heart, and mind contribute to the contentment, healing, and insight of others
- May I find the resources for the welfare of others, and may I be willing to take risks for their well-being
- May all beings know happiness
- May all beings know love
- May all beings be wisely supported
- May all beings be free
- May all beings experience awakening.
Remember to practise these meditations regularly for all three kinds of people. For those who are dear to us, those who are foreign to us and those with who we experience difficulties. At times, you will need to concentrate on one of them due to circumstances. When you say the lines of to each kind of person remember to accompany the words with the respective feeling of the hear.
It can be worthwhile memorising the lines or similar lines to enable a loving presence in the heart under all circumstances.
Meditation on Love, Friendship Kindness towards Three Kinds of People
TO YOUR LOVED ONES
- May I always acknowledge and understand your intentions
- May I always be supportive for you in time of need
- May I never place demands and pressure on you
- May you be well and happy
- May your life know contentment and joy
- May you be peaceful and steady from one day to the next
- May our love and friendship for each other remain steady.
- May I not rush to judgement on meeting you
- May I show friendship and presence for you
- May I communicate clearly and wisely in your presence
- May your day be rich and worthwhile
- May you act mindfully and consciously in all things
- May everybody treat you with respect
- May you show kindness to everybody that you meet
- May your day be free from fear and worry
- May you sleep well and peacefully tonight.
TO THE UNFRIENDLY
- May your anger and resentment subside quickly
- May you understand the pain you cause yourself and others
- May you explore fresh ways to explore differences
- May you see into the fear behind the anger
- May you develop equanimity when things do not go your way
- May others stop being angry towards you
- May you realise that anger does not cease with anger
- May others listen to you and you listen to others.
Compassion (karuna) refers any action to relieve or dissolve suffering. Karuna resonates with the suffering of another and experiences a call to action.
Compassionate action arises naturally for those who see suffering, know primary causes and conditions for it, see the resolution and the way to resolve. There is no reference in the discourses of the Buddha to self-compassion or the confinement of compassion to meditation. The benefit of meditations on compassion only shows in the subsequent action.
We confirm compassion through actions of body (doing), speech and intentions of the mind. Compassion distinguishes itself from metta. Compassion refers specifically to working with levels of suffering, great or small, found among people, animals or the environment.
Compassion reveals itself in the action we take with the intention to change any harmful behaviour, beliefs or attitude of individuals, groups or institutions. ?
Compassion expresses itself through wisdom, namely the application of the four noble truths. We might feel sorry for the plight of others during our meditation but that does not confirm compassion. Pity is the short-lived feeling of concern without any action. Compassion leads to skilful action. The ego has a reluctance to make a claim such as “I am a very compassionate person.” Listeners will have their doubt and sense the egotism of such a view.
Meditation on compassion can help to ensure we don’t get lost in self-interest, self-compassion and narcissistic viewpoints, which reduces our concern about anything which takes place outside of ourselves.
Meditation on Compassion
- May these meditation practices give support to the welfare of others
- May I go deep to listen to the voice of compassion in the heart
- May I reflect on the suffering of others and on the initiatives to support others
- May I extend compassion to animals and the environment
- May I find time for calmness and renewal to sustain support for others
- May I reflect on lifestyle to support life on Earth and our vulnerable eco-system
- May I have the capacity to respond in a similar way
- May I act out of compassion for others, like the Buddha suggested
- May I see which actions will be beneficial and worthwhile during my day
- APPRECIATIVE JOY
Appreciative Joy refers to the heart’s capacity to know happiness in a variety of experiences, secular, religious and spiritual. We have the potential to experience a deep happiness for the countless blessings in our life, the lives of others, humans and Gods. Gods refer to those beings with an elevated consciousness, who inspire us and show us ways to transcend mundane situations.
A deep joy can arise from the outcome of events, the variety of precious experiences that arise for others and oneself, often emerging from inter-action.
Mindfulness, meditation, reflection, receptivity of the senses and the capacity to listen to the heart prepare our being for the depth of the Divine. Appreciative joy nourishes heart and mind.
?The Buddha did not offer any methods or techniques to experience the Divine. God comes to us, so to speak, when obstructions and hindrances lose their grip over consciousness. S beautiful dye can change the colour of a stainless clothe like a purified heart/mind can abide in the Divine.
We find renewal through the depths of appreciative joy in countless ways. This joy in life through senses, insights, blessings and realisations also enables us to support others. We can then stay largely free from stress.
Meditation on Appreciative Joy
- What do I deeply appreciate in this period?
- Do I allow my heart to rest on a subject matter – a person, activity or place etc.?
- What touches me?
- Do I remain mindful and receptive to what I see, hear, smell, taste and touch?
- Do I experience appreciative joy for events in the past, present and future?
- Do I allow time for the heart to open and stay open?
- Do I spend time in nature, silent retreats, arts and closeness with another or others?
- Does happiness flow regularly through my whole being?
- Do I welcome the joy of others?
- Do I feel an authentic gladness for what others have accomplished?
- Am I able to respond with happiness to a situation?
- Can I learn to feel happiness more deeply and on more frequent occasions?
Equanimity refers to the capacity to stay steady in challenging situations.
We may feel attracted towards a situation, object, story or stream of thoughts in our mind.
Equanimity means not to grab onto that attraction or impulse, when we know it will leader sooner or later lead to suffering.
We may feel aversion in a situation, object, story or stream of thoughts. Our mood may darken. Fear, resentment and blame may start filling up the heart and affecting perceptions.
Equanimity means not to grab onto such aversion in order to prevent suffering to expand further.
It is not easy to be as steady as mountain in a hurricane. In the depth of love, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity, we experience a divine abiding with a clear and expanded heart.
The Buddha took the view that the Gods abide with God. Such a divine abiding has a power and depth to it.
Some give a rather superficial interpretation to the four inter-connected divine realms. A short-lived feeling of kindness, act of compassion, appreciative joy or equanimity bears no relationship to abiding with God.
There is a depth and lasting power in abiding in the Divine. A divine equanimity is not easily knocked off balance. The Gods have little ego. The Gods express a remarkable clarity, integrity and heartful presence with very little few demands or reactivity.
Meditation on Equanimity
- ?May I stay steady in the face of the pull towards unhealthy habits and addictions
- May I stay stead in the face of fears and blame
- May I stay steady in the times of living with the unknown
- May I find another (s) in whom I trust to share my experiences
- May I remember to reflect on what I can learn from events
- May I remember to breath in and out, long and deep, to dissolve reactivity
- May I see clearly how equanimity supports clarity and integrity
- May I recognise that equanimity allows me to be a stable figure for others in need of support
- May I abide with presence and steadfastness
- May all beings live with insight and wisdom.
The Buddha of Love
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