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Sit : Love : Give

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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: lovingkindness

Bodhipaksa

Feb 10, 2014

Learning to love your suffering

Senior man suffering from severe headacheBuddhism talks a lot about suffering, but a lot of us think that we don’t suffer, or that we don’t really suffer. There’s a tendency for us to think of suffering in terms of physical pain or material deprivation: the person with terminal cancer or a broken leg, the refugee, the starving child. So we often think of suffering as being something that’s extreme or unusual. But actually, we all suffer, every day. You may be suffering right now.

  • When you’re worrying what people think about you, you’re suffering.
  • When you feel resentful, you’re suffering.
  • When you’re impatient, you’re suffering.
  • When you’re embarrassed, you’re suffering.
  • When you’re irritated, you’re suffering.
  • When you’re feeling

Mark Tillotson

Jan 27, 2014

100 Days of Lovingkindness begins Jan 31

man and woman diving of boatThe second event of our Year of Going Deeper series — 100 Days of Lovingkindness — begins on January 31, 2014.

This is not a meditation challenge requiring you do lovingkindness practice every day. It’s simply an opportunity, over the course of a 100 day period, to bring more lovingkindness into your life.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Appreciate that kindness is something that’s inherent in your being, and that it just needs to be nurtured
  • Be kinder to yourself
  • Be less irritated and more patient with others
  • Develop acceptance instead of making judgments
  • Develop genuine compassion
  • Avoid “idiot compassion” (where we deny our own needs in the service of others)
  • Become more appreciative and see the

Bodhipaksa

Jan 21, 2014

Why you don’t really hate yourself

Lots of people struggle with self-hatred. They find they constantly judge themselves, talk to themselves harshly, and even do things to themselves that are harmful. It’s very painful to be this way.

But I want to tell you: you don’t really hate yourself.

In the deepest core of your being you love yourself. In the deepest core of your being you want everything for yourself that you want for those you hold most dear. In the deepest core of your being you want to be happy, to be well, and to be at peace.

And everything you do — everything — is a strategic attempt to find happiness, wellness, and peace. That’s the motivation behind every action you take, including your acts of …

Bodhipaksa

Jan 06, 2014

Six reasons to think good thoughts

6 Reasons to think good thoughts

I really like this graphic that one of my Google+ friends, Shalone Cason, put together. Not only is it attractively presented, but it’s a very accessible interpretation of a traditional Buddhist teaching on the advantages of kindly thoughts.

You can find Shalone on Google+, and he also has a blog here.

Bodhipaksa

Nov 27, 2013

What do you call metta?

dalai lamaWhat’s your preferred translation of “metta”?

As a kind of postscript to our recent Urban Retreat, which was on the theme of metta, I’m going to share my thoughts about some of the terms people use, and propose an uncommon, but I think good, English term.

1. Lovingkindness

The most common English term that people use for metta is “lovingkindness.” That’s pretty much the standard term. A search for “metta is loving-kindness” on Google brought up 17,200 results.

What’s good about it?

It’s an old and well-established term in English. You might be surprised how old it is; it’s found for example in a 1611 translation of the Bible (this example is from the Book of …

Bodhipaksa

Nov 26, 2013

The Urban Retreat: Every ending is a beginning

urban retreat 2013

This is not the end, but the beginning.

Here is a summary of where we’ve been, and a list of suggestions for continuing your exploration of meditation.

Where we’re been

We hope you appreciated and benefited from the material we sent you. Remember that even if you didn’t manage to read everything or watch all the videos, they’re always there for you. In fact here’s a handy list of all the posts we sent during the retreat:

  • Urban Retreat: Day 1: Demystifying lovingkindness
  • Urban Retreat: Day 2: Authentic lovingkindness
  • Urban Retreat: Day 3: Lovingkindness: When the Rubber Hits the Road
  • Urban Retreat: Day 4: Protecting others, you protect yourself.
  • Urban Retreat, Day 5:
  • Bodhipaksa

    Nov 25, 2013

    The Urban Retreat, Day 8: Developing compassion

    urban retreat 2013

    I’m going to write less today, because sometimes I go on a bit, and I know we’re all bombarded with information. So here are just a few words about the practice of compassion, and especially of self-compassion.

    What is compassion? Like lovingkindness, it’s a volition (something we desire or will or intend). While lovingkindness is the desire that beings find happiness, compassion is the desire to relieve suffering. Compassion flows directly from lovingkindness; we want beings to be happy, yet they suffer, and so we want their suffering to be relieved so that they can find happiness.

    Compassion is not a sentiment. It’s not just a feeling. Volitions are what lead to …

    Bodhipaksa

    Nov 24, 2013

    The Urban Retreat, Day 7: The practice of gratitude

    urban retreat 2013

    One quality that’s closely related to metta is appreciation. We often take things for granted when they’re going right, and then focus on what’s not going the way we want it to. And that makes us unhappy and makes our relationships with others less warm and appreciative.

    At our worst we’ll say things like “Nothing ever goes right in my life.” And in the moment we’re saying those words we’ll ignore that we have air to breathe, we’re alive, we’re probably healthy, we’re living in a fairly civilized society (it’s far from being Mogadishu), we’re sheltered from the elements, we have water, electricity, the internet, friends, family, etc. The specifics of …

    Bodhipaksa

    Nov 23, 2013

    The Urban Retreat, Day 6: The tender heart of lovingkindness

    2013-urban-retreat

    In previous posts I’ve suggested an approach to cultivating lovingkindness that begins with contacting our innate lovingkindness. Now the expression “contacting our innate lovingkindness” is a problem for many people, because they look inside themselves, don’t see anything at that moment that they could call “metta” or “lovingkindness,” and then conclude they don’t have these qualities. Which can start a downward spiral of rumination and pain: I don’t feel any love; Therefore I don’t love myself; Therefore I must be unlovable; Therefore no one will ever love me; Therefore my life is horrible.

    I think almost everyone has experienced that kind of emotional nose-dive at one time or another.

    But I think that when …

    Bodhipaksa

    Nov 22, 2013

    The Urban Retreat, Day 5: Looking with loving eyes

    2013-urban-retreat

    I’d like to share a way of relating that I call “loving gaze.” This is borrowed from Jan Chozen Bays, who writes in How to Train a Wild Elephant of the practice of “Loving Eyes.”

    In her book she says:

    We know how to use loving eyes when we are falling in love, when we see a new baby or a cute animal. Why do we not use loving eyes more often?

    So what we can do is to recall, or even just imagine, the experience of looking with loving eyes. You can recall (or imagine) looking at a beloved child, or a lover, or even a pet. I find that the sense of …