The poet Haku Rakuten of the T’ang dynasty was a lay disciple of Meditation Master Bukko Nyoman, who was a Dharma heir of Baso. Dharma practice, including meditation, helps develop the groundwork from which we can, when confronted by a challenging situation, halt our habitual reaction before it manifests. As things turned out, I took things so slowly – and so herkily-jerkily – that people in the cars behind me started honking their horns, hollering and even cursing. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is an important component of lovingkindness practice in friendships and familial relationships. Disarming our egos means letting go of our inner control freaks who cling to expectations of how everything “must” be. It can be a tough thing, and you’re giving me yet more ideas for topics to explore on this blog. Perhaps part of developing lovingkindness toward ourselves includes making sure we have time and space in our busy days during which we can be calm, still, and quiet, thereby helping to settle our minds, recharge our batteries, and avoid burnout.
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Our Institute was formed in 2004 as an outgrowth of the Zen Hospice Project (ZHP), nationally recognized as a pioneering model in the movement to improve end-of life care.
METTA is an ancient Pali (Buddhist) term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence and non-violence. Metta Institute will gradually produce materials and programs offering an in-depth exploration of living and dying in America. Metta Institute is a federally approved 501c3 charitable non-profit corporation guided by a volunteer Board of Directors.
To encourage spiritual practice, we organise regular Dhamma study groups, Metta (loving kindness) Meditation at our Centre, Day of Mindfulness as taught by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, regular chanting sessions and organise meditation retreats.
This week, try this simple Buddhist meditation known as the metta or loving kindness meditation to bring you into a calm state of mind. Now that you are aware of the word metta and its meaning, you will likely see it pop up all over our culture. Close your eyes and take a few clearing breaths, inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling gently through the mouth. Begin to breath only through the nose, paying attention to the rhythm of the breath and the sense of peace and calm it creates. Call to mind the image of one person (or a pet) that brings an immediate smile to your face.
If you are sitting for some time, you may continue to call to mind the images of those you love or who are in your thoughts. Call to mind the image of yourself, perhaps as you are today or perhaps as you were when you needed tremendous love in your life.
Finally, call to mind the image of someone who is least deserving of your love and affection. While many people believe sending positive thoughts and feelings will positively impact the world, I cannot claim scientific proof of this fact. Though she still honors her Taz roots with an athletic-inspired yoga style, Bethany also honors a new-found stillness of heart. Our ego-centered minds, while in the throes of habitual reactivity, continually find ourselves, other people, and life wanting if these don’t measure up to our expectations. By doing so, we create a clear space in our minds from which we can make a conscious choice to be kind. I recall a day when my husband was in the hospital, and I had to run an errand to the grocery store. We open up our hearts and minds to the fact that we can’t fully know – or judge – the circumstances of a person by whom we feel inconvenienced. The difficulty is letting go of the ego, which wants to be right, which wants accolades, which wants everything to be “just so,” which resists letting go of expectations and demands of exactly how “just so” is to be defined. When we disengage from our inner control freaks, it makes a tremendous difference, not only for ourselves but for those around us. By nature, we shrink away from anger and harshness, and we open up toward lovingkindness and compassion.


With kindness, we don’t seek vengeance, thereby spewing more negative energy out in the world. The popular conception is, of course, that of “good karma” and “bad karma.” To me, though, karma simply means what we consciously choose to DO in each present moment. There are so many beings in the world, so many beating hearts, and they all want – bottom line – compassion and kindness, not suffering and pain. It’s amazing how we create these storylines, and then go on to create storylines from storylines — it can be endless, like dust bunnies! When we’re feeling peaceful, with our minds calm and still, our buttons are harder to push and we can more easily let things go. Inspired by the Buddhist tradition we encourage the integration of the spiritual dimensions of living, dying and transformation, through professional training, educational programs and materials.
Our Director, Frank Ostaseski, helped form ZHP in 1987, and guided the program for 17 years. The goal of the innovative training is to establish a national network of educators, advocates and guides for those facing life-threatening illness and the individuals and systems that serve them.
We are advocates for reclaiming the soul in caregiving and restoring a life affirming and transformative relationship to dying. We now provide information on workshops, presentations and retreats lead by Frank Ostaseski and educational programs featuring our core faculty.
Contributions to Metta Institute are fully tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. Not only does this meditation benefit your mindset, but by intentionally sending out kind thoughts, you will strengthen your compassion, relationships, and empathy for others. It has been used in many forms, including organizations that have chosen it as their trademark.
Meditation based on the concept of metta simply aims to bring the feelings metta embodies - friendliness, benevolence, non-violence, and loving-kindness - to those who practice the meditation. If sitting is hard for you, feel free to boost your hips on a bench, stool, or even a chair. I can tell you, however, that studies do show generating these feelings in meditation will bring a greater ability to sympathize and empathize to the individual practicing the meditation.2 These are skills we all need more of in life. By recognizing that all people need love, even when they don't deserve it, I healed many relationships in my life. Despite spending twenty years in a gym or on a soccer field, she never developed a sincerely healthy lifestyle. Instead of functioning as aware beings who make conscious choices about how we think, speak, and behave, we tend to let ourselves be led around by whatever impulse might arise in us at any given moment. We make a conscious choice in each moment to bring kindness to every situation in which we find ourselves. Though I’d been driving since the age of sixteen, I had only recently learned how to drive a stick shift (manual transmission). Anger and vengeance only lead to more anger and vengeance, spiraling down into hatred, one of what the Buddha calls the Three Poisons (hatred, greed, and delusion). Kindness isn’t about giving in, showing weakness, or allowing people to take advantage of us. We can also choose to realize and acknowledge that we, too, have had times in our lives when we have behaved unkindly.
When I’ve behaved in ways I regret, it has always been out of unhappiness and confusion. It does, though, mean willingness to truly listen to another person and open ourselves to insight and understanding of a given situation instead of layering our egocentric storyline about events over the top, blinding us to wisdom and hardening our hearts. Indeed, the Sanskrit word Karma means “action” or “deed.” In each present moment, we have a choice. Yet suffering and pain continue to arise in our world because of confusion and delusion and because of choices, made through ignorance, that perpetuate painful patterns of negative reactivity.
I also think when practice compassion toward ourselves, we are better able to have compassion for others. We grow accustomed to responding to button pushes in particular ways — with anger, resentment, anxiety, etc.


We chose it as our name because we believe it expresses the essential human quality that is most beneficial in the lives of those who are dying and their caregivers.
This website's Pressroom provides our published articles, current releases and expert resources for media. Therefore, in order to become who we desire to be, we must first clean ourselves from the inside; so that we can get rid of all the negative energies that have been holding us back in the past. I find most people feel at home with this meditation as it is straightforward, positive and easy.
Further, this meditation taught me I have a right to love everyone, and their actions should not take that right away from me. The more we’re led around by these impulses, the more we develop patterns of habitual reactivity that are centered around those impulses. The problem is grasping: grasping at situations, grasping at relationships, grasping at outcomes we think we must have. We show them the kindness and respect that we ourselves would want to receive were the situations reversed. When we are able to open up and acknowledge this, we can quell our impulses toward anger, impatience, and intolerance. The Buddha also said that hate is never conquered by hate; rather, hate is conquered only by love.
And since anger and revenge will only lead to more anger and revenge, choosing to act from those emotions can’t possibly improve the situation.
Rather, the person who chooses to be kind is courageous, and the person who holds onto his grudge is showing weakness, since he’s letting impulse and reactivity lead him around by the nose. Kindness stops the turning of the cycles of reactivity; as a result, we enjoy a more peaceful mind from which we can govern ourselves with wisdom, compassion, dignity, and integrity.
With friends and family with long complicated histories, they know how to push my buttons, we hold complicated mutual grudges, it often feels impossible to respond to unkindness with kindness.
Our Resources section offers an audio series, recommended reading and media, up to date links to hospice resources, Buddhist practice, grief and loss support and End-of-Life related issues. It is only when you discover your true self that you stand well positioned to embrace all the possibilities and opportunities that lie all around you.
It is a great place to start if you are aiming to use meditation to benefit your daily stress and feelings toward the world.
Disappointment results from grasping at things which, by their nature, are unrealistic and impermanent, and the ego processes disappointment as an insult. Anyone who drives stick shifts will know that start-and-stop traffic going uphill is a huge challenge for a person who’s new to manual transmissions. I was a newbie stick shift driver, my husband was sick in the hospital, and I was doing my best in a tough situation. In clinging to his anger like a protective amulet, he’s demonstrating fear, not strength. When we make good karma, we’re bringing metta – lovingkindness – to each present moment, thereby actively creating a more positive future for ourselves and for others. I had to take things slowly and carefully so as not to roll back and hit the car behind me. Instead of reacting to a person who is behaving unkindly with unkindness in turn, we can step back, apply wisdom to the situation, and realize that since we don’t know everything about what’s going on with the person, how can we feel justified in judging and condemning him?
Common sense shows again and again that when we bring kindness to a situation, we improve it. And all this, over something as trivial as arriving at a grocery store a few minutes later than planned.
Is criticism what you have needed in the heat of the moment, even though you might have been receptive to constructive criticism later, following a cooling-off period?




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  1. 31.10.2013 at 23:49:21
    BoneS writes:
    Preparing my visiting schedule when it was supportive, warm.
  2. 31.10.2013 at 23:36:49
    Nomre_1 writes:
    The challenges civilians face within the office and different meditations that.
  3. 31.10.2013 at 12:31:30
    mio writes:
    And teacher trainings are scheduled all help.
  4. 31.10.2013 at 22:13:48
    Princessa_Girl writes:
    The main focus of any the edge it's essential achieve what.
  5. 31.10.2013 at 15:31:53
    AYDAN writes:
    Observe mindfulness turns into a lot.