A Guided Metta Meditation emphasizing the integration of Metta and Insight Meditation, including utilizing Sylvia Boorstein's phrase, "May I meet this moment fully; May I meet it as a friend," and variations of the second phrase such as "May I meet it with _______ (kindness, compassion, gentleness, patience, curiosity, receptivity, etc.). Includes a poem by Matty Weingast from "The First Free Women."
With a wise expectation of the three kinds of vedanā, we steady our mindfulness to intimately connect with unpleasantness, pleasantness, and neutral experiences. This is the first step with vedanā. The second is to cool off the old habits of reactivity , and the third is seeing vedanā is not inherent in the objects of our attention. Vedanā arises due to contact with the 6 sense doors, and operates on its own independent conditinality. This is difficult to see in daily life, and a precious opportunity on silent retreat.
This meditation establishes a gentle and caring presence through bringing the image and felt sense of a smile to various domains in the body. We then settle with the breath, and practice relaxing with whatever arises, letting life be just as it is. The underlying intention is to regard all experience with a clear, interested and friendly attention. The gift is a homecoming to our naturally loving presence.
Key to all of our suffering and eventual freedom, mindfulness of vedanā disrupts our unconscious struggle to reject unpleasant experiences, crave pleasant experiences, and ignore neutral experiences. Since vedanā is a tone or aspect of every moment in the stream of our consciousness, it beocmes increasingly clear our agitation with life begins with reactivity to vedanā, and the training of a new kind of well being comes as we develop the ability to breath inside the stream with all three vedanās.