I have been taking the Basics of Mindfulness Class at Insight LA. I have a lot of notes from different weeks but this is the first time I've really had time to start posting. This was the third time in the last couple of months I've done I guided Metta Meditation. Beth Sternlieb led one when she came to Yoga and the Healing Sciences teacher training. Then Kelsey lead one as part of her yoga class when she was practice teaching and then on Tuesday night Celeste Young led one. I really love the Metta Meditation.
Here is a review of the first basic phrases:
May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be at ease (or May I be free)
And here is one variation:
May I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm
May I be truly happy and deeply peaceful
May I be healthy both in body and mind (or if this is not possible, may I accept my limitations with grace)
May I live with ease and be free from suffering (or May I care for myself joyfully and be free from suffering)
After you do yourself you move on. The Traditional Categories (in the traditional order for sending Metta) are:
Self, Benefactor, Friend, Neutral Person, Difficult Person, All Beings. You pick a person for each category into you get to all beings.
On Tuesday night I chose Murty, Carol, the security officer at gate 7, we didn't get to a difficult person.
METTA is the pali word for Loving Kindness. The mind heart are connected. When we sit we get in touch with our difficulties. Then compassion begins to arise. The we realize that other beings have the same stress and the same sorrow. The brain was a negativity bias. The brain is wired to scan for threats. We have a capacity to rewire the brain. A good book to read is "Buddha's Brain." Mindfulness helps rewire the brain. Metta meditation can open the heart and rewire the brain.
Below are a few quotes:
“If we practice mindful living we will know how to water the seeds of joy and transform the seeds of sorrow and suffering so that understanding, compassion, and loving-kindness will flower in us.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
"Lovingkindess is a form of love that is truly an ability, and as research scientists have shown, it can be learned. It is the ability to take some risks with our awareness--to look at ourselves and others with kindness instead of reflexive criticism; to include in our concern those to whom we normally pay no attention; to care for ourselves unconditionally instead of thinking, "I will love myself as long as I never make a mistake." It is the ability to gather our attention and really listen to others, even those we've written off as not worth our time. It is the ability to see the humanity in people we don't know and the pain in people we find difficult." -Sharon Salzberg