Metta is generally described and set in the context of the Brahmavihara - the divine abodes. A number of stories are told illustrating the quality of metta and four ways that metta transforms us are identified - (1) We learn to lead with our hearts; (2) We develop in concentration; (3) We purify our being; and (4) We connect more fully with others.
A reflection on the COUNTER-INTUITIVE nature of the Buddha's teaching - how the Dhamma goes against deeply seated intuition, e.g., that there is something permanent in this impermanent world. This is followed by a reading of and reflection on the first discourse the Buddha gave, which outlines the middle way and the four ennobling truths. To be followed in talk #4 by a detailed reading of the four truths as four injunctions rather than four things to believe.
After a framing of why we practice and how this intensive practice can inform our wider lives, and a short account of the qualities of mindfulness we explore how to practice in states of mind and heart. Using the model of RAIN (Recognition, Acceptance, Inquiry, Non-identification), we examine a number of ways to work with states of mind and heart, using as case studies, working with anger, judgment (harsh reactive judgment) and others.
Grasping and non-grasping in connection to self, people, things, views - how grasping makes us exaggerate and proliferate and how creative engagement can help our creative potential manifest and develop.