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Retreat Dharma Talks

July Lovingkindness Retreat

2022-07-05 (11 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

  
2022-07-06 Simple Mettā Breathing and Body Awareness (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 51:03
Tempel Smith
There are so many ways to practice formal mettā (loving kindness) meditation, and they all benefit from a relaxed mind and body. The proximal cause for samadhi (concentration) to arise is from a deepening sense of happiness, calm, and contentment. Many practitioners are drawn to use will and force to concentrate their attention, and this leads to agitation, frustration, and fatigue. With mettā breathing and body awareness we can cultivate the ease so useful for our hindrances to subside.
2022-07-07 Working with Hindrances to Mettā Meditation (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 49:25
Tempel Smith
As we practice mettā meditation we will have waves where the practice feels easy, intuitive and validating; and we will all have waves where we struggle. There are five very common states which visit us in meditation practice called the "five hindrances". These are commonly named in English as craving, aversion, dullness, restlessness, and doubt. For steady mettā practice our first response to these challenges is to practice more carefully with patience determination. The second response is to offer ourselves kindness and compassion during challenging times. For mettā meditation and for the other three brahmaviharas, our third response to challenging times is to turn wakefully towards the qualities of the challenge and see them as only temporary conditions. We can greatly reduce the experience of suffering in the hindrances when we have mindful experience of them.
2022-07-08 Simple Mettā Meditation (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 61:08
Tempel Smith
Setting up and devoting ourselves to a steady mettā (loving kindness) meditation practice, we start where it is easiest and where we can keep it simple. With a basis of blending a sense of ease and relaxation with patient steady attentiveness, we invite mettā to arise in our hearts supported internally by images and phrases. Though it takes some experimenting to find balance with these tools, the repetition of mettā phrases keeps directing our attention to the purpose of mettā practice. These phrases are so very helpful when we live into more complex or challenging situations.
2022-07-13 Mettā and Samādhi (Absorbed in Loving Kindness) (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 49:20
Tempel Smith
This style of meditation practice is designed to support both the strengthening of mettā (loving kindness) and samādhi (concentration). The kind and benevolent tone of the brahmavihārās (sacred dwellings) carries a deep beckoning of our hearts to be whole and steady, so these are wonderful and meaningful qualities to use for samādhi/concentration. After many days of practicing we can taste our hearts becoming whole and can better see the possibility of letting go of old habits based in greed, insecurity and hatred.
2022-07-14 Many ways to practice Mettā and Samādhi (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 45:00
Tempel Smith
After exploring many categories of beings to eventually send mettā to all beings, we can now approach each conception of single or many mettā subjects to be places of collected, restful mettā samādhi (loving kindness concentration). It's more simple and humble than many expect it to be.
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