Kindness - Class 5
Loving - Kindness
Developing skills in loving kindness helps people when they are troubled or stuck by difficult emotional states.
This class explores the Loving-kindness meditation practice taught by the Buddha, meant to develop mental habits of selfless or altruistic love.
"Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.” found in Dhammapada
What is Loving Kindness
Buddhists practice loving kindness meditations to promote and develop skills necessary to deal with difficult emotional states and increase balanced states of mind.
This Loving-kindness meditation practice was taught by the Buddha to develop strong mental habits of selfless or altruistic love.
It’s often put that “when the mind goes sour, practicing the loving kindness meditation can sweeten the mind.
Practicing Loving Kindness systematically develops the quality of ‘loving-acceptance’, which brings about positive changes in attitudes toward the self and others.
To start this meditation you want to choose 4 different people to focus on from the categories given below. Start with yourself then move, systematically down the list of the 4 different people you chose.
Four types of persons to develop loving-kindness towards:
a respected, beloved person (spiritual teacher, coach)
a dearly beloved — a close family member or friend
a neutral person — somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g. person who serves you in a shop;
a hostile person — someone you are currently having difficulty with.
Send loving-kindness (see how to below) from person to person in the order given above, will start to break down the barriers between the four types of people and yourself.
How to initiate feelings of loving-kindness:
1. Visualization — Bring up a mental picture. See yourself or the person the feeling is directed at smiling back at you or just being joyous.
2. Reflection — Reflect on the positive qualities of a person and the acts of kindness they have done. And to yourself, making an affirmation, a positive statement about yourself, using your own words.
3. Auditory — This is the simplest way but probably the most effective. Repeat an internalized mantra or phrase such as ‘loving-kindness’.
Run away thoughts and emotions are the source of a lot
of the conflict we experience in our Minds and Hearts.
Practicing loving kindness mediations have the effect of
breaking down the negative divisions and barriers
we create to protect the inner core of the mind/heart. This
naturally leads us to true Equanimity of the Mind/