Dhamma Letter No. 121
Metta 3: The steps of Metta Bhavana
Metta Bhavana is to have unconditionally benevolent hearts toward all beings, including oneself. It starts with forgiveness. If you can't forgive your own faults and the faults of others unconditionally, that loving-kindness is bound to be limited.
If you want to cultivate unconditional loving-kindness, you must practice loving-kindness meditation. It doesn't just happen. It requires constant effort.
To start the Metta meditation correctly, you have to extend love and warm-heartedness to yourself first. It is very hard to send Metta to other people when your own mind is not full enough of Metta or love and warm-heartedness towards yourself first.
First, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Then think for yourself and read the following words in your mind or aloud.
“I hope that by not committing bad karma, accumulating many good karmas, and living according to the teachings of the Buddha, my body will always be healthy, my hopes will be fulfilled, my mind will always be calm and happy, and I will finally be liberated.”
1. Thinking of the person closest to you one by one, as you did to yourself, together with the previous words, arouses a heart of love. You can do it for family or friends.
2. After that, I repeat with an earnest heart about the person you feel neutral like your neighborhood, country, humanity, and all living things.
3. Lastly, remembering the person you hate, send the energy of loving-kindness with ‘the same mind’.
◆ To the hatred one:
I know this person has suffered in life just like me.
I know this person has gone through the same sadness, loneliness and frustration as me.
This person is looking for happiness just like me.
This person is trying to learn something just like me.
This person has the same infinite nature as me.
At first, it is not easy to show kindness to people you hate, but after repeating it a few times, you will soon get used to it and you will feel that the hatred in your heart gradually disappears. The most important thing here is that there should be no difference between the person you like and the person you hate. Therefore, it is better to spend more time practicing the Metta mind sufficiently on the object of #1 and getting used to the state of Metta. Then, practice #2 targeting a neutral opponent, and practice #3 so that everyone is in the same state of mind.
* One thing to note is that it is better to avoid the dead or those who you feel physical/romantic attraction when choosing a subject.
Once you get used to loving-kindness, it is best to do it for about 10 minutes every morning, and you can do it anytime, anywhere.
To be continued…
Ayyā Kosallā Vipassinī
Edited by Euna Bonovich
If you have any questions related to dhamma & meditation, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at Bhikkhuni.Kosalla@gmail.com.
법에 대한 질문이 있으신 분은 위의 이메일 주소로 질문을 남겨주세요.
위빠사나명상의 마음관찰에 대한 논문을 한글 원본으로 읽고 싶으신 분은 클릭해서 다운로드 받을 수 있습니다. (네이버에 PDF 첨부)
The Korean Dhamma Letter is here 담마레터.
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Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!
Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!
Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !
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