3.1 Loving-Kindness

The Elements of Meditation Practice 3 - Loving-Kindness
11 minutes
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Compassion for our bell. Okay, so can we just kind of started the same way, your deep breath, breathing in stretching up the spine, lining, some alertness and the breathing out or the settling motion or downward motion. I like to do this practice after usually after a concentration practice that sort of build up a little bit of momentum. But it can do it you can do it right, right in from the beginning, anytime, really. So the idea here is we're we'll start by we're going to send this sort of sense of reasonableness of care of wanting the best for all these different sort of groups of people. And we'll start with somebody that you know very well, someone you find relatively easy to like, we'll start eating See.

So and with this practice we can deliberately visualize if we want, you can visualize this person's face might be an animal or a child or friend or anything. Picture them and, and if you already have an idea of them, maybe they're picturing smiling and happy. And first of all, just noticing, it feels good to pay for someone you care about. And then we have this little phrase that we repeat, and the phrase again, made to kind of depend on you. I'll give you a generic kind of template. And you can make it fit more to your experience if you want.

But the classic one is something like you know, maybe safe, maybe strong, maybe happy. Repeat this phrase to yourself and you're kind of thinking about this person and you're wishing these things for that person. And we can say it in a very general way that we want the best of this person, but there may be specific things to it. So May you be healthy might be one that feels more appropriate. Maybe well, I'll spend too much time thinking about it. But really, this is sort of like your blessing in a way.

Maybe safe, maybe strong, maybe happy. It's just having that intention of wanting the best for this person. And letting yourself feel what you feel when you do this. Maybe you feel very calm. You might have an emotional feeling. Or you might have a reaction because there's something about this that it feels off in some way and that's okay.

Just letting yourself have that response. Again, you can refresh them. First, that sense of this person or maybe you've shifted to a different person that's okay to just repeat your phrase. Maybe safe, maybe strong, maybe happy. letting yourself feel you feel. The practice itself is about that intention means sustaining that intention, reconnecting to it, repeating your phrase you need to and then let it linger for a little bit, like you rung the bell.

And then we move out to the next concentric circle. So this one is the stranger to somebody don't know very well, somebody who maybe see on the way to work or they cut your hair. Who knows what distant relative someone in this room but this idea that you're just going to drop this friendliness onto this person seems kind of appealing to you out of nowhere, they've come into your mind and you're picturing them, picture them happy, external, however, however they are and then you set your intention to really wanting the best for that person. Okay, this person to their challenges their life this whole life You don't know anything about this may be maybe safe. Maybe strong, maybe happy. Your version of that maybe?

Well. Maybe that may sounds weird to say the Well, yeah. We'll make it your own. As you're visualizing that person, and again, it could be an animal to, again, repeat your phrases. Be safe and be strong. And you'll be happy.

Do you feel welcoming all the full experience? So the next concentric circle is the difficult person. That's kind of where the rubber meets the road. So someone for whom loving kindness feelings don't necessarily come immediately to heart or mind. So when you find challenging, probably not the biggest psychopath on the planet, just, you know, you don't keep the sooner, the more the more crazy The more difficult the person, the harder it is. So somebody who you have challenges with a good place to start, but who's got their own life experience their own their own challenges, their own perspective their own.

And it's not a place to get into judgments around how they are and who they are, but just this sense of can you have a stance of the wanting the best for this person to recognizing that another human being and then find a phrase that feels right to repeat there may or may be safe. Maybe strong ish. Maybe happy? Maybe, Well, again, the feeling of this, you know, there's no, it's about the intention. We're not trying to provoke anyone feeling that there wasn't one dominant flavor. Really this reasonableness, sense of Yeah, we're all part of the single human family, you know?

Again, picturing them and repeating your phrases. Maybe safe, maybe strong, maybe happy. So, next ring out, is ourselves. Sometimes we start with this as the first one. Other times we'll do it later. But this person too, you can visualize yourself sitting here as you are or younger version of yourself as a kid some people do that.

But this person too is brought this all this life experience to this moment. And can you find connect to the sense of finding the best for yourself to the total reasonable and then repeat your phrase, may I be safe? May I be strong? Be happy maybe it's May I be well I be a live at peace within peace. And let yourself feel you feel here. Maybe strong emotions or maybe very, very few or maybe the opposite response.

Again, visualizing yourself here, have an idea of yourself and then repeat your phrase. Andy safe and be strong. Be healthy and be happy. And finally, we'll do one last circle, all sentient beings and say everybody, so the whole city planets, solar system, you name it, bugs, put it all out there. So just kind of I imagine myself as like a radar tower just sending out this caring vibe and the reasonableness of life wants to continue. Just repeat your phrase and you'd be safe and strong, maybe happy.

Whatever feels right for you. Everybody just doing the best I can be safe. Maybe strong, maybe happy, all this be this way and just help the smile and practice to mention that earlier. Just letting yourself feel you feel that is the essence of loving kindness practice. Thank you for doing that with me. So, what was that like?

Any questions or concerns about that or any weird responses or reports you want to share? That's boilerplate Buddhist loving kindness, practice. boilerplate but something like it

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