Q&A: How does one do Loving Kindness Practice? I have difficulty sending myself love and kindness.
Note: Upasaka Nandaka is using a tool called Descript to create machine-generated transcriptions of some of the talks on the TMI Archive (at a pace of up to 30 hours of audio a month). The following is one such transcript. If you’d like to help edit them for accuracy and readibility, please see this Google Doc for detailed instructions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YxweiCr1N4YXY3Bn1mTzPBp811hTGolKroJS_RCMqo0/edit. Any editing contribution, no matter how small, is appreciated. Please remove this notice when the transcript has been fully edited.
Student: Network. I have trouble doing it for myself.
Culadasa: What I consider to be the most important thing is first of all, that you are able to generate the mental states of being Free from suffering and ill will and of experiencing loving kindness and happiness
and really everything else about the practice is just giving you repeated opportunities to do that for January, those particular feelings. And then the second most important part about it is when you project that or offer that or send out or wish that for other people, because then it goes beyond the, a feeling of loving-kindness to actually action, to an act of kindness.
You say you have trouble doing it for yourself? What do you mean?
Say that? I love myself, but I am. I'm not tuition favorite for myself, probably are conditioned to feel that you shouldn't do that because it's selfish. Yeah. It's an interesting thing. One of the problems that we do have is our own selfishness and a lot of the problems in the world are the result of all these people are acting out of their selfishness.
if we go to a really deep level of recognizing that there is no self to be selfish about, then we can see our own. Minds and our own bodies and their wellbeing as being on par no more important to another lesson important than the wellbeing of other minds and bodies. And that is the proper way to develop loving kindness and directed at yourself.
Is it. Not from that place of feeling like an I and me and mine and selfishness, but rather seeing that saying your mind and body as being no different than anyone else's and feeling exactly the same loving kindness towards everyone else. And towards this. And for a lot of people, this is difficult.
A lot of people don't feel that they're worthy. As a matter of fact, part of the practice of loving kindness is learning to forgive. And it's always easier to forgive other people than it is to forgive ourselves and. In that aspect of it, if you started out by forgiving other people, you start out by forgiving, how do people practice that and start getting, becoming able to forgive other people more easily, then that's the way they come to the place that you can forgive yourself.
And. Forgiveness is an important part of being able to direct loving kindness app, anybody. Yeah. At yourself and the practice of loving kindness. We start out with people that are really easy. The people that, that we feel good about and we like, and we admire, and we feel they have a good task and it's better.
Wish loving economist for them, but then we progressed to lovely move to the point where we can generate love and kindness and directed towards the people that we would otherwise regard as our enemies. Those people that are sent some way or another our nemesis appear to us to be the.
Because of some of our suffering and happiness. So then if you can direct loving kindness to people at different degrees of closeness and reach their point where even those that you have antipathy chores, then it should be pretty easy to direct and kindness towards yourself as well. The wish for these good things.
But it all, it's a cyclic thing because you have to start it out before you can have the wish as somebody else be free from suffering. That has to be clear in your mind. So you have to bring yourself to have that feeling as clearly as you can. And you do that through recollect. Or imagination or, whatever, but we've all had, we all know what it's like to be free from suffering.
Even I, for some people it's hard sharing number, what it's like to be free from suffering, but we know what that means. And so all that to mind if we can make that. Feeling that state of mind, corresponding to being free from suffering as clear as possible, then we can wish it for others. Even if we feel in some way that maybe we don't deserve it, we can still wish it for average.
And then in that way developed a skill so that eventually you can bring it back and wish that freedom from suffering. On ourselves as well. And at least in the end, the farmer loving kindness meditation that I do. That's where we started was with a feeling of being free from suffering of being at ease and the wishing for others, so that they be free from suffering.
And then the next pages is freedom from ill will from negative feelings. Every time. And once again, it's the same thing before we can generate that wish that somebody else be free from ill will we have to recall in ourselves what that feels like, that feeling of being at peace with everything and everyone as much as possible.
And then once we've done that, and then once we practiced offering them, To other people sending that to other people. Then we reached a point where we can, that we're able to publish that for ourselves as well. And after that comes the feeling of loving kindness itself as a positive state of mind, that contributes to our overall sense of well.
We've already been practicing, loving kindness, wishing for others, or they'd be free from suffering. And it will, but now, and hopefully by having done those two steps of the practice, which are acts of loving kindness that we have, it's easy for us to ourselves call up that state of mind. Wonderful state of mind of what it's like to be filled with loving kindness and to add only that wish.
So I've been kindness and that for sweet, we want everyone else to enjoy that wonderful state out of love and kindness. Including ourselves and just say, see, it's hard. It's always cycling back on itself. And it's a, that's like pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. That's it's, sarking starting with what you can do a lake and then moving by stages to what is more difficult to do.
And then of course, the fourth and final part of it is it is the feeling of. Happiness intended that's been happening. That's
and so like with eating meditation, you have to start out without great expectations and do the practice according to where you are and what you're able to do right now, so you'd call forth those feelings as best you can in the present moment when you're doing the practice without judging.
Without, feeling like you should be able to do a better, that's just what to, whatever degree you can't genuine will generate those feelings. And then two, we start out with sending. This to somebody that it's very easy for us to send it to without judging ourselves, and there may be, we may call to mind somebody that we just really can't bring ourselves to want send too much in a way of good wishes to this person.
And that's all right. You don't judge yourself. You just, the day will come. The time will come when you can. What counts is that person came into your mind. And there is that intention that even if you can't do it now, you want to come to a point where you can wish for them the same qualities. And if you happen to find yourself at any time regarding yourself in this category, I have asked a lot of people do a lot of people.
Difficult as if they don't deserve these things and it's really difficult. And for themselves or the other thing is that they feel conditioned that they shouldn't do that. I shouldn't want these things for myself. So what's really important. There is to remind yourself that the of that makes good selfish is an illusion.
And then there is after all this body and this mind, and it just is, and it is in the same way anyone else's is. And so it's no more, no less deserving the noticing. And it's that understanding? That is important, and even if you were saying to find it, oh, I it's really easy for me to wish the sided.
I really want to be happy. I really want to be free from suffering. It's really easy for me. But then in that case, your challenge is that come to that place. You wish them for the body mind that you call yourself, but without attachment to it and with the, and from the same place out equal equal value as every other bay.
And so that's basically how the meditation works, but the you have to remember that. You're only going to be able to do what you're able to do. If you find yourself running into an obstacle, then that's a good indication that this is something to be very valuable for me to repeat. The more often I repeat it, then the more likely that I am at some point, find myself having overcome that obstacle.
There is a formal practice of loving-kindness meditation, which are describing. And then there is learning to practice loving kindness in all kinds of everyday situation. And it's really important to do the formal practice of it as well because our minds do deceive us so much. And I, if you do it as a formal practice, then you get really clear on what is loving kindness.
They had you learn to detect the subtle signs resistance in your mind and recognizing more readily what's actually what is actually happening and in your own. Mine does, as you're dealing with these circumstances as they arise.