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Loving Kindness Practice


Q&A: How does one do Loving Kindness Practice? I have difficulty sending myself love and kindness.

Master Culadasa discusses the formal practice of loving kindness. How to start with easy people to feel compassion towards and work to more difficult people.

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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.

But

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.


Automated transcription

I have trouble it for myself. I sure again. Okay well 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. We'll generate those particular feelings. And then the second most important part about it is when you project that or offer that or or send out or wish that for other people.

Because then it goes beyond a feeling of loving kindness to actually action to factor well time... You say you have trouble doing it for your cell. What do you mean? I myself I'm not even I guess to tuition or they would or myself. You know Because you probably our condition to feel that you shouldn't do that because it's selfish. Yeah. It's an interesting thing that one of the problems that we do have is our own selfish. And a lot of the problems in the world are the result of all these people acting out of just selfish But if we go to a a really deep level of recognizing that.

There is no self to be selfish sufficient out, and we can see our own minds and our own bodies and they're well be as being on par, no more important to it less important than the well being of other minds and bodies and that that is the proper way to develop loving kindness and directed at yourself is not from that place of a feeling, like an eye and me and mine and selfish, but rather seeing that saying your mind and and body has been no different than anyone else's and feeling exactly the same.

Loving kindness towards everyone, everyone else and towards yourself. And for a lot of people this is... This is different i difficult a lot of people don't feel that they're worthy. As a matter of fact, part of the part of the practice of Love Kindness is learning to forgive and it's always easier to forgive other people than it is to forgive ourselves. And So, you know, in that in that aspect of it, if if you start out by forgiving other people, you start out by forgiving out people, practice that and start getting, you know, becoming able to to 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 have anybody and yourself. In the practice of loving and kain as we start out with people who are really easy the people that that we feel good about and we like can we admire and we feel like, you know, and to us and and so we wish let me kinda for that. But then we progressively move to the point where we can generate time directed towards the people that we would otherwise regard as our enemies, you know, those those people that are since time way or another our nemesis appear to us to be the cause of some of our suffering and unhappiness.

So then if you can direct loving and kindness, to people at different degrees of of of closeness and reach their point where even those have that typically towards. Then it should be pretty easy to direct clothing kindness towards yourself as well to wish for to wish for these good things. But all... It's kind of the cyclic thing because you have to start it out before you can have the wish if 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 recollection, or imagination or, you know, whatever. But we we've all had we all know what it's like to be frequent from suffering even if for some people at hard remember. What it's like to be free suffering, but we we we know what that means. And so we all that to mine, if we can make that feeling that state of mind corresponding to being freed 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 others. And then in that way, develop the skill so eventually can bring it back. And and wish that feed them from suffering on ourselves as well. And at least in in the form loving kind meditation did I do? That's where we started with a feeling of being free from suffering of being at ease and they're wishing for others that they be free from suffering. And then the next page is 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 practice offering that, to other people sending that to other people, then we reached a point where we can that were able to wish that for ourselves as well. That after that comes the feeling of loving kindness itself. As a positive state of mind that contributes to our overall sense well. We've already been practicing loving kindness forward wishing others that they'd be free from suffering and they will.

But now, And and hopefully, I haven't done those two steps of the practice. Which are acts and kindness. That we have... It's easy for us to ourselves call up that state of mind, that wonderful state of mind of why it's like to be filled with loving mankind that's ant to. Have only that wish that have been kindness. And that for week, we want everyone else to enjoy that wonderful state of of love kindness. Including ourselves. And so so see it's it's always cycling back on itself. And it's it's kind of a That's like pulling yourself up by your bootstrap.

It's it's starting starting with what you can do readily. 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 have of happiness intended that's been happened that's. And so like with any 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. You know? So you call forth those feelings. As best you planned in the present moment when you're doing the practice without judgment without you know, feeling like you should be able to do better.

It's just what to whatever degree you can genuinely generate those those feelings. And then two, we start out with sending this to somebody that very easy for us to send it to without judging ourselves, you know, and there may be we made calls to mind somebody that... We just really can't bring ourselves to. Want to send him much way of good wishes to this person. And that's right. You don't judge yourself. You just... The day will come, the time will come. When you can, but what counts is that that person came into your mind And there is that intention that even if you can't do it now, you want to have to a point where you can't wish for them.

These same qualities. And if you happen to find yourself at any time, regarding yourself in this category and has a lot of people do. A lot of people find it difficult as if they don't deserve. And it's really difficult and for themselves. Or the other thing is that they feel condition that they shouldn't do that. I shouldn't want these things. Or myself. So what's really important there is to remind yourself that that they minus of that that makes its selfish is an illusion. And that there is after all, this body and this might.

And it just is, and it it it is in the same way well else's is. And so it's no more or no less. Deserving the those. And it's that understanding that yeah, is import know. And even even if you were saying if I oh, I... It's really easy for me to wish saturday. I really wanna be happy. I really wanna be free suffering. It's really easy for me. But then in that case, your challenge is to come to that place where you wish them for the body mind that you call yourself or without attachment to it. And with the...

And from the same place of equal equal value as every other day. And so that's basically how the meditation works. But the you 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 that obstacle, then that's a good indication that... Well, this is something 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 over overcome that obstacle. There is a formal practice at loving kindness meditation, which I describing.

And then there is learning to practice loving kindness and 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 so, you know, If you do it as a formal practice, then you get really clear on on what is loading time to have.

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