#bekind - A guide to metta loving kindness meditation

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Issue:
- The traditional Buddhist notion of "metta" is often translated as 'loving kindness' or 'compassion'. If you do Headspace meditations and do visualisations involving being flooded with golden light, that is actually a visualisation of "metta".
- "Be kind" - it's a hashtag; it sounds simple and easy. Let's see if it is.
- Metta development/cultivation ("metta bhavana") - 'loving kindness meditation'.
Concept: The 5 stages of metta meditation
1. Make friends with yourself (flood yourself with metta)
2. Wish a loved one happiness (offering metta, useful for e.g. envy, greed, malice - lots of practical examples of this)
3. Wish a stranger happiness (offering metta to people where it is not as obviously having a direct impact on us)
4. Wish an enemy happiness (offering metta to someone we dislike; hard)
5. Wish the cosmos happiness (offering metta to as wide a circle as possible)
Parable: Sariputta and the Brahmin
- Sariputta was out on his alms round and a Brahmin decided to test his patience by sneaking up behind him and giving him an almighty smack
- Sariputta didn't react so the Brahmin felt bad and apologised
- Sariputta accepted but this wasn't enough so the Brahmin brought him round for dinner
- An angry mob also came to dinner so Sariputta gave the Brahmin his alms bowl so they, not wanting to break it, would leave and go home
- Later, the Buddha reflected on the situation:
"The mob should not strike the brahmin, and the brahmin should not set anger loose. Shame on the one who hits a brahmin and greater shame on the one who sets anger loose. Whenever one turns away from the intent to harm,
Suffering is allayed."
Listener question:
Do you believe in reincarnation? What would you like to come back as? - Jay (they/them), Manchester
Links:
https://bit.ly/3i1vPaC Yoga Anytime: The 5 stages of loving-kindness
A webseries by Yoga Anytime that breaks down the stages of Loving Kindness into an episode per stage, guiding you in depth through the meditation
https://bbc.in/3AwEMQp BBC Bitesize: Good, evil and suffering
A bitesize analysis of the Buddhist approach to suffering, presented as part of the BBC's revision guide to GCSE Religious Studies
https://bit.ly/2XDBU5I Tricycle: Overcoming ill will
A long-read reflection on how to change the way we react to those who anger us

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