Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Lovingkindness Meditation

Sit : Love : Give

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flowersPrayer — in the sense of a verbal expression of ideals and aspirations — is an important part of many religious traditions, including Buddhism, even though Buddhism has no creator God to whom we can pray.

Through expressing aspirations in words, and especially out loud, we can connect with our beliefs and ideals more deeply, helping us to hold them in our minds as we go about our daily business, and helping us to develop a stronger sense of conviction.

So in order to bring more lovingkindness, or metta, into your life, take a few minutes each day, just after you’ve awakened or perhaps just before you begin work in the morning, to recite the Metta Prayer. You can print out a PDF version and display it or keep it in your planner.

Saying words out loud make them more emotionally real for us, so if it’s possible, say the words out loud; otherwise just say them inwardly.

Read the words slowly and let them sink in so that they become your aspirations. Try sitting for a little while to let the words resonate in your heart and mind. Do this for a period of two weeks and see what difference it makes to your daily attitudes, thoughts, and emotions during that time.

Comments

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Comment from Cynthia
Time: May 18, 2015, 10:00 am

Hi,
Just a question, what you mean when you say “Buddhism has no God creator to whom we can pray”? Yes it’s true Buddha said our minds are the creator of our world and it’ also true that we can pray to Buddhas and receive help from them as Buddhas became enlightened for the very purpose to benefit all sentient beings.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: May 18, 2015, 12:42 pm

The Buddha wasn’t a creator and he didn’t say anything about praying to him or any other enlightened being for help. On the contrary, he advised his disciples to be islands unto themselves and to rely on the Dharma. It’s true that later Buddhist traditions advocated prayer, but if you look closely at the teachings you’ll see that they’re telling us that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not different from our own minds. In other words, we’re calling upon untapped resources within ourselves.

The tendency to see the Buddha as literally hanging out in some kind of heavenly realm, able to dispense help when asked for it (why would he wait to be asked?) is something I’d regard as an importation of theistic points of view. There’s certainly nothing resembling this that I can think of (right now, at any rate) in the early tradition.

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