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Archive for November, 2012

A practice that I have come to value is the cultivation of mindfulness along with loving-kindness (mettā). Essentially, having developed some degree of mindfulness, while one is sitting or during other activities one brings the intention of loving-kindness or goodwill into awareness along with whatever is arising in the mind.

For example, if I’m experiencing fear around an interaction that I anticipate with someone, I allow the mind to be present with that mind state, and then attempt to connect with a sense of goodwill. That may mean I simply continue to be present with the fear and how it unfolds in the mind or in sensations in the body. It may also mean sensing my intentions around that experience, and recollecting my desire to not cause harm to myself or another. At another time, loving-kindness might guide the mind toward sensing the underlying needs that have been activated in me, or toward seeing the other person more clearly and with compassion.

I try to allow wisdom, and my sense of the Buddha’s path, to guide the process without trying to force it in a predetermined direction. I find that with practice this ability seems to get stronger.

Here is a handout that we gave out at our meeting last Monday evening describing how one might develop this practice in more detail.

Best wishes,

Steve

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