3. Loving-Kindness

The Elements of Meditation Practice 3 - Loving-Kindness
4 minutes
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Recognizing that each style that we go into there, again, they're sort of like building blocks, we learn something with that style that that works for us that we like something we're not so sure. And we just we're just adding to or adding another couple building blocks now, and from these building blocks that we're going to hopefully help you kind of design an idea of what a goto practice might look like for you. So another important elements of meditation importance, style meditation is the whole style of loving kindness practices, compassion practices, self compassion, practices, tons of practice within this area. We're going to do a very basic sort of loving kindness practice. But I actually in within Buddhism, they talk a lot about right attitude. It's the right attitude that you have when you're approaching a state in the first place.

Part of that right attitude is that quality of openness, the equanimity the being the trying to be accepting of everything that's going on the experience around you, but there's also the attitude of Have this caring quality or this friendliness that we can start to bring to ourselves that we can start to literally bring to sensations in our experience, and that we deliberately cultivate vcv our relationships with other people. And that's what this practice is going to be explicitly about. It's if mindfulness practice and insight practices are about self understanding, and sometimes about deconstruction. This is about kind of reconstructing, like a version of yourself that whatever it is, you feel like you want to be able to grow, you want to grow in that dimension, so more patient more friendly as a default, and it builds intimacy. It's a there are wonderful practices and a lot of people have reactivity around these practices because they can seem very phony or sentimental on the on the surface when you're just trying to pretend to have us and say, if you have in your idea, if your idea is that you have to suddenly pretend to feel something towards someone that you don't necessarily feel then it can be very fake, but The essence of a metta practice is really about having the intention to wish someone well.

And that so it's not about creating a particular emotional response or being sentimental. It's very much just like, you know what this is another human being doing the best they can, admittedly in a more screwed up way, let's just say that they're still and they're doing the best they can. And you're just gonna be like, you know, you're trying to just like, see the best of the best in them, the fact that they're having their challenges and everything else, and that includes you. So that's the other big part. Because there's so much judgment about ourselves, particularly in this practice, because you're not loving enough or you're not, you know, you're not turning into Mary Poppins when you do it. And so then we get down on ourselves for having that kind of response.

So, so the way I'm going to guide this practice is it's going to be in the traditional met what they call a meta battle, like gentle loving kindness way where we kind of go through concentric circles of you kind of picture Somebody who's close to you, and then you and you try to connect to that sense of wanting the best for them and the stranger, difficult person. And then we're going to include ourselves in that, and then kind of the big world. But when we include ourselves, like, you know, I often think of when I think about how to this is a building block, I usually finished my practice with a little loving kindness piece. But I try to thread in the friendliness from the beginning, I try to thread in this idea of like, you know, I'm doing the best I can, and everyone else is doing the best that they can, you know, I give myself a break.

It's like, I if I'm having a hard time, I take a moment to try to feel compassion for this little person who's having a hard time just like I would for anybody else. And that has become a very transformative thing for me in my life. It's literally about Okay, I'm having a hard time right now. Even when I'm not in meditation, I'm going through life. Can I stop for a moment and just, you know, pause and connect to the intention for that to, to for me to be well, the intention for today. To be okay, you know, and it's not and it can get quite pointed, you know, this quality of how hard because I'm very hard on myself like many of us are, but you realize how you know mean you can beat yourself that inner critic that just holding yourself to a standard that you actually don't hold other people too.

So to be able to the true magnanimous move within a practice is to start to see everybody in that same light is deserving of compassion and caring, including ourselves so thread these through in this practice and then we can share a little bit about it but I really encourage you whatever response you're having let yourself it acceptance is the beginning of this this skill it's the ground of love and accepting that this is the human being you are with your flaws and imperfections and we're all doing the best we can you know, you start with that and then we build from there but it's that's really the foundation so let's we'll explore

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