Guided Lovingkindness Meditation January 6, 2021

This guided meditation was recorded January 6, 2021, while the U.S. Capitol building was being invaded by rioters, with the intention of the guidance being to provide support for addressing whatever fear or anger might have been stirred up witnessing the events through various media prior to the start of the meeting. The guidance suggests first cultivating lovingkindness (metta) towards self, then later in the meditation projecting lovingkindness as an antidote for others who might be afflicted with aversion and ill-will.

Play

The Value Of Metta November 6 2019

This is the first of a series of talks about the Brahma Viharas, the Divine Abidings:  Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic joy) and Upekkha (equanimity).  During the talk, which focused primarily on Metta, Peter read an excerpt from research published in 2010 that described the emotional and interpersonal benefits from cultivating positive emotions for the vagus nerve, an important nerve complex that connects the brain with the function of the heart and the intestinal wall.  This research suggests the benefits derived from Metta meditation.  Peter then described the evolution of his Metta practice, beginning in 1983 with a one-week retreat led by Sharon Salzberg, an authoritative teacher of Metta.  He talked of how important the words of the mantra are and the benefit of focusing attention on the “heart chakra” while practicing Metta, as this seems to involve the strengthening of “vagal tone”, the optimal balancing of energy transmission from the brain into the body and back again.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  The Value Of Metta  Here is a rendering of the Metta Sutta ( a translation of which was read by Peter during the talk), accompanied by Peter’s version of various levels of Metta mantra practice:  LOVINGKINDNESS MANTRA

The focus of next week’s talk will be the value of practicing Karuna, compassion.

Play

Brahma Viharas

In this Dhamma talk, Judy explores the relationship between the Noble Eight-Fold Path and the Brahma Viharas, the Four Divine Abodes: Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (Joy), and Upekkha (equanimity).    She explains each of their major characteristics   and their “near” and “far” enemies, actions that seem similar but are not and their opposites  She also gives us ways to use these in our meditation practice.

Cultivating Metta for Ourselves

Tim explores the cultivation of metta, loving-kindness, for ourselves. The practice of metta meditation can provide a greater resilience against self-afflicting emotions, a sense of ease and happiness, and a foundation for selflessly loving others.

(We’re aware that comments are difficult to hear in this recording. We’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with the microphone, which we’re working to fix.)

Right Action in the 21st Century

Continuing the exploration of how to increase the relevance of Buddhist wisdom in our era, this discussion explored the relationship between the concept of kamma (karma) and action.  Emphasis was placed on using mindfulness to restrain impulsive action in order to promote behavior that cultivates kindness and compassion.  This was related to current personal, cultural and spiritual conditions.  This sets a foundation for thorough exploration of Right Livelihood in the next few talks.