Shaman & Holistic
Transformation Facilitator

Day 17 ~ May Is For Metta 2020: Lovingkindness Practice For All Beings

 “How and why we love changes the qualities of our love.  Love with loving-kindness transforms the love into a nectar of wisdom.  Love with attachment transforms love into poison, into a state of afflicting emotions.  Therefore, we must recognize the characteristics of the love that is loving-kindness and how to generate it in ourselves.  Gampopa, one of the greatest masters of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, wrote:

‘The object of the meditation on loving-kindness is all beings.  The way is wishing them to have happiness.
The formula is thinking about the kindness of beings, since generation of loving-kindness depends on the remembrance of the kindness of beings’.” – Tulku Thondup

Having worked with the various individual categories, we are ready to move on to the category of All Beings.  The overall intention here is to offer our practice for the benefit of all beings without exception.  This expansion allows us an opportunity to move beyond separateness and creates a place for us to connect with all that is.  It is here that we plant the seeds for the foundation of a deeper spiritual awareness.  As we acknowledge the interconnectedness of all things through our practice, we begin to embody this awareness in all of our experiences.

Initially, it can be difficult to work with the vastness of All Beings. This category can include All Beings but can also be for specific groups of beings, such as all animals, all children, all of our sangha (spiritual community), etc.  Today, we will explore expanding our practice out from a single being to groups of beings and then to All Beings.  One of the difficulties that can emerge, in working with All Beings, in addition to the challenge of holding the image of a vast group, is that we can have mixed feeling about all beings. 

As the introductory quote above touches on, we do this by focusing on finding that kindness in all beings which is contained in the very essence of our being.  It can also be helpful to connect with the image of a child or baby that we all once were, remembering that innocence is an origin we all share.  As in all the categories, this practice takes us below the surface to engage in a deeper way with life and all beings.

Daily Practice:

Listen to today’s practice on Soundcloud…

Find a comfortable position. Take time to do your foundational practices. Begin by cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for yourself.  Imagine yourself in the center of a circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness. Offer the Metta phrases for yourself:

    • May I be happy .
    • May I be peaceful.
    • May I be free of suffering.
    • May I have ease of well-being.

When you feel ready, choose a small group at first, perhaps your family, a group of friends or a smaller community you are part of.  Envision holding this group of beings in loving-kindness and compassion.  You might like to imagine you are sitting in a circle with them as you offer the energy of loving-kindness.  Begin to offer phrases for your group of all beings.  Remember that you to are a part of this group.

    • May you/we beings be happy .
    • May you/we beings be peaceful.
    • May you/we beings be free of suffering.
    • May you/we have ease of well-being.

When you feel ready to move on to the next group, come back to your heart center for a few moments and repeat a round of phrases for yourself.  Next, begin to offer loving-kindness to our virtual sangha, the May is for Metta community.  Know there are people around the globe participating in various ways.   Just imagine if you can that we are all sitting together in a circle or see us spread out like lights of loving-kindness all around the world.  Begin to offer the phrases for our group knowing that as you do we are shining the light of loving-kindness and compassion around the world.

    • May you/we beings be happy .
    • May you/we beings be peaceful.
    • May you/we beings be free of suffering.
    • May you/we have ease of well-being.

As always, if your mind wanders, just notice and return to the phrases.  If you continue to struggle or difficult emotions arise, return your practice to your self until your feel more settled.  When you feel ready, once again offer the phrases for our group.  Remember to be gentle with yourself as we expand our practice out to larger groups of beings.  Sometimes it is more challenging to hold our focus and awareness on a larger group.  When you feel ready to move on, center yourself in your heart once again.  Connect with the loving-kindness within.  And begin to repeat the phrases for All Beings:

    • May all beings beings be happy .
    • May all beings beings be peaceful.
    • May all beings beings be free of suffering.
    • May all beings have ease of well-being.

If at any point you need to, return the practice to yourself, or perhaps choose a smaller group, such as all animals or all children.  We will explore working with the category of All Beings in a variety of ways as we proceed with our practice, so be gentle as we begin.  When you feel complete with your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in loving-kindness and compassion that you have been cultivating.  Allow that feeling to sink in to you, let every atom and cell of your being to absorb the energy of loving-kindness.

Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice.  Consider all of the beings you have practiced for today and offer the merit of your practice for their benefit.  Know that as you offer up the benefit of your practice, you are not giving it away or losing it but you are actually generating more lovingkindness through the act of giving.

Daily Journal Reflection:

  • What did you notice about expanding your Metta practice to multiple beings, groups and All Beings?
  • Was it harder or easier than other categories? 
  • Are you remembering to be gentle and loving with yourself? 
  • Have you explored using Metta as difficult feeling arise as throughout your day?

May we have a day filled with peace, harmony and beauty.

Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!)

Beth Shekinah

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