Meta Reminder

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  • lorax
    Member
    • Jun 2008
    • 381

    Meta Reminder

    Hi All
    Just a thought that came to me last night as the first hot water made it to the house after a week of night sub-freezing temperatures and frozen pipes. Trying to recover from big time phumonia followed by a detached retina, a nice warm place to hide and stay warm seemed to be top priority.

    As I was enjoying the shower I had a mind shift and started to focus on Meta practice:

    1. May I be free of suffering; may I feel safe and still.
    2. May I be free of enmity; may I be loving, grateful and kind.
    3. May I be healthy and at ease in all my ills.
    4. May I be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

    I then realized or reminded that Meta is not complete without extending those thoughts to all.

    1. May he(she) be free of suffering; may he(she) feel safe and still.
    2. May he(she) be free of enmity; may he(she) be loving, grateful and kind.
    3. May he(she) be healthy and at ease in all his(her) ills.
    4. May he(she) be at peace, embracing all conditions of life

    I particularly thought about all the members of our extended Buddhist
    family who are held captive in cold, isolated places,, no heat, adequate food, no cozy place to hide and nurse their mental and physical ills.

    So this probably is not a start of a new thread, just a sharing of my reminder to continue in our community and individual meta practice each day. I know when I was in ICU in late December your meta thoughts were a comfort that helped pull me along.

    Peace

    Jim
    Shozan
  • ghop
    Member
    • Jan 2010
    • 438

    #2
    Re: Meta Reminder

    Thanks for the reminder Jim.

    I forget too often that this too is part of our practice.

    Hope you are doing well.

    gassho
    Greg

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39450

      #3
      Re: Meta Reminder

      Thank you for the reminder, Jim. You are seeing clearly.

      If anyone would like some more explanation of this "Recommended Daily Practice of Metta" ... which is recommended ...

      ... please look here:

      viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1199

      Gassho, Jundo
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Myoku
        Member
        • Jul 2010
        • 1487

        #4
        Re: Meta Reminder

        Thank you Jim,
        daily metta practice makes a difference, for me, and for those around me,
        hopefully even for all sentinent beings.
        _()_
        Peter

        Comment

        • Dosho
          Member
          • Jun 2008
          • 5784

          #5
          Re: Meta Reminder

          Deep bows to you...sensei.

          Gassho,
          Dosho

          Comment

          • Hoyu
            Member
            • Nov 2010
            • 2020

            #6
            Re: Meta Reminder

            Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing your insights.
            I believe Metta is best when directed towards something other than ourselves. This is a popular theme throught my practice. I'm doing it largely in part to the benefit of others. If the principals and practice of Zen Buddhism make me a better person(which I believe they do) then that is to the benefit of my family, friends, and even strangers I encounter. Like the guy who cuts me off in traffic . He benefits from this practice too. Even if he doesn't practice himself.
            As an analogy, our actions create rings which radiate outwards (like a tree leaf being dropped onto the surface of water)affecting others. It can be in good ways or bad. And then those rings are picked up by others and apmlified/added to before they too radiate outwards from them. It's cyclical. If Dad hits mom, mom hits the child, the child, the child hits the dog, the dog bites the cat....you get the idea.

            Gassho,
            John
            Ho (Dharma)
            Yu (Hot Water)

            Comment

            • Dosho
              Member
              • Jun 2008
              • 5784

              #7
              Re: Meta Reminder

              Originally posted by JRBrisson
              Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing your insights.
              I believe Metta is best when directed towards something other than ourselves. This is a popular theme throught my practice. I'm doing it largely in part to the benefit of others. If the principals and practice of Zen Buddhism make me a better person(which I believe they do) then that is to the benefit of my family, friends, and even strangers I encounter. Like the guy who cuts me off in traffic . He benefits from this practice too. Even if he doesn't practice himself.
              As an analogy, our actions create rings which radiate outwards (like a tree leaf being dropped onto the surface of water)affecting others. It can be in good ways or bad. And then those rings are picked up by others and apmlified/added to before they too radiate outwards from them. It's cyclical. If Dad hits mom, mom hits the child, the child, the child hits the dog, the dog bites the cat....you get the idea.

              Gassho,
              John
              Hey John

              I agree that Metta is good when directed towards others, but I don't believe you can do that unless you also offer it to yourself. Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...at least I think so. And you are right, it is cyclical...but is also true if mom hits dad...or treats him like an idiot...and all stereotypes and non-stereotypes inbetween.

              Gassho,
              Dosho

              Comment

              • ghop
                Member
                • Jan 2010
                • 438

                #8
                Re: Meta Reminder

                Originally posted by Dosho
                Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...
                Priceless. Never heard it put so well. Thanks Dosho.

                deep bows
                Greg

                Comment

                • Hoyu
                  Member
                  • Nov 2010
                  • 2020

                  #9
                  Re: Meta Reminder

                  Thank you Dosho. This is very wise indeed! I love the reference you made to the oxygen mask!

                  Gassho
                  John
                  Ho (Dharma)
                  Yu (Hot Water)

                  Comment

                  • Hogo
                    Member
                    • Feb 2010
                    • 497

                    #10
                    Re: Meta Reminder

                    Originally posted by Dosho
                    Just like on an airplane when you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, metta has to begin at home...
                    Agreed well said, and brilliant my friend.
                    Gassho

                    Comment

                    • Hoyu
                      Member
                      • Nov 2010
                      • 2020

                      #11
                      Re: Meta Reminder

                      As long as you are doing both all is good.

                      Gassho,
                      John
                      Ho (Dharma)
                      Yu (Hot Water)

                      Comment

                      • Yugen

                        #12
                        Re: Meta Reminder

                        Jim,
                        As another sangha member from a cold wintry place, thank you very much for this. A deep bow of gratitude,

                        Yugen

                        Comment

                        • Nindo

                          #13
                          Re: Meta Reminder

                          I'm taking this here from my Metta thread in the Life forum, because it seems to fit the previous discussion:

                          Originally posted by Jinyu
                          Hi! :lol:

                          To say the truth, I've been experiencing difficuties in the practice of metta as it is explained in our forum. It is not so easy to practice this "open compassion" without boundaries.
                          For month I stopped practicing loving-kidness until a few weeks ago. With the (maybe unconscious) help of Fugen and Taigu I realized that I was full of compassion in general... except when I really needed to practice it. I mean that it is sooo easy to be compassionate when everything is Ok, but when experiencing doubt and pain it is not the same thing.
                          So, I try to practice lovingkidness again. Mainly with the practice of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) which I've been taught in Tibetan Nyingma tradition received years ago.

                          Generally, the practice is "given" to every sentient beings with no emphasis on a single person... Sorry I'm a bit out of subject but it still metta isn't it?

                          gassho,
                          Jinyu
                          Hi Jinyu,
                          maybe "open compassion without boundaries" is just too idealistic. My understanding of Metta practice is that you say or think the four statements (or similar):
                          1. May I be free of suffering; may I feel safe and still.
                          2. May I be free of enmity; may I be loving, grateful and kind.
                          3. May I be healthy and at ease in all my ills.
                          4. May I be at peace, embracing all conditions of life.

                          My version goes like this:

                          May I be well and happy
                          May I be peacefull and calm
                          May I achieve my aspirations
                          May I be safe from danger
                          May my mind be free from hatred
                          May my heart be full of love
                          May I be well and happy

                          The "minimum" is to say them for yourself once and again for all sentient beings. However, I think it's really good to say them for at least one specific person in your life.
                          Like shikantaza, just do it, no matter what goes on in your mind. You don't have to "feel" the compassion. Metta is not a concept. Just do it, just say the words.

                          ESPECIALLY in times of doubt and pain it is good to do this for yourself. If you just cannot wish yourself well, try this: visualise how you were as a child, maybe 5 years old, and imagine you embrace this fragile, vulnerable child and wish him/ her well.

                          For a long time I cringed whenever I thought of my parents during metta. I didn't feel loving towards them. But even so, what was wrong with wishing them to be well and happy? Glad to say I love them very much now.... but now I'm doing the same for obnoxious project managers, people who idle their cars and suffocate me, people who are rude to me... I may grit may teeth while saying "may you be well and happy" but it does make a difference.

                          I think that "every sentient being" can become a nice idea that instantly breaks apart when somebody steps on your toes... that's why I recommend reciting the metta for specific people.

                          May your practice go well!
                          Nindo

                          Comment

                          • Rimon
                            Member
                            • May 2010
                            • 309

                            #14
                            Re: Meta Reminder

                            Originally posted by Jinyu
                            So, I try to practice lovingkidness again. Mainly with the practice of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) which I've been taught in Tibetan Nyingma tradition received years ago.

                            Generally, the practice is "given" to every sentient beings with no emphasis on a single person... Sorry I'm a bit out of subject but it still metta isn't it?

                            gassho,
                            Jinyu
                            Sounds very interesting Jinyu! Can you give us more details about this practice or a website to read more about it?

                            Gassho

                            Rimon
                            Rimon Barcelona, Spain
                            "Practice and the goal of practice are identical." [i:auj57aui]John Daido Loori[/i:auj57aui]

                            Comment

                            • Jinyu
                              Member
                              • May 2009
                              • 768

                              #15
                              Re: Meta Reminder

                              Hi!
                              Thank you Nindo for moving my post!
                              Rimon,
                              Sorry, I've been away for a few days! A pragmatic view, it is a practice of visualization and recitation of the mantra of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Now, the practice is more subtle and generally the practice of "Chenrezig" is given during initiation with a sadhana (a kind of guide in your meditation with the chants and visualization advices), more advices are given by the lama, and for most "deity yogas" a personal teacher is needed.
                              The Sadhana is generally composed by taking refuge and developing the mind of the Bodhi, prostrations, four immeasurables (practical thoughts, a kind of guide for meditation on impermanence and Shunyata)these practices were part of the daily practice of every Mahayana schools of the time, i've been taught). According to the school different kinds of visualization are associated to every step.
                              I received this practice in a lineage that was teaching dzogchen and I've been taught to end every step by a short practice of "contemplation", not worrying too much about visualizing right or wrong, just being focus and very open to the practice. In fact the chanting for the specific practice of Chenrezig is a tibetan description of the visualizations. Chenrezig is prayed during visualisation to help every sentient being, and his mantra short or long or both are recited and at the end of the sadhana the practice and "visualization" is everything becomes the body, speech and mind of Chenrezig and we rest in contemplation with that... sounds familiar hey? :lol:

                              Well, it is a very flexible practice, one can recite only is mantra when walking or on the bus; the practice can be very short and informal or long and with much prayers and bowing .... very flexible but each time with this same open attention and compassion for every sentient beings...

                              I'm probably not the best person to describe this practice, but if you have more questions it is really best to ask in a local group. The practice of Chenrezig, like the practice of Shakyamuni, Amithaba, and Manjushri can be practiced without a proper initiation (it means that in theory you can pick up a sadhana from a book and practice it, but in reality it is really important to get proper advices on this practice, and most Tibetan Sanghas are very open and can show you the practice in a short session).

                              I hope I answered your question a bit!
                              Have a nice day!

                              gassho,
                              Jinyu
                              Jinyu aka Luis aka Silly guy from Brussels

                              Comment

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