Metta practice is a wonderful, ancient practice that has parallels in the cultivation of kindness and love in other spiritual traditions; developing the wise heart of kindness is an ancient vocation. There are also parallels with the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his emphasis on bringing love to help transform injustice; we play a brief recording from Dr. King. We also explore different dimensions of Metta practice and how it relates to other pathways of awakening through mindfulness and wisdom. We then look at some of the main challenges of Metta practice, such as distraction, repetitive thoughts, sleepiness, and challenging emotions and body states, and how to practice with them.
We cover the 3 elements of metta practice: generating the energy of friendliness, visualizing the person/being you are sending metta to, and repeating the phrases. We offer various versions of the phrases and introduce the first few categories of beings we can send metta to: self, benefactor, and dear friend. In the guided practice we begin by feeling held and loved by others and then offer this to ourselves, then move on to benefactor and dear friend.
In this Opening talk, the teachers offer a land acknowledgement, introduce themselves, and Kaira Jewel gives a short talk on what metta is, how to practice metta and how we can take refuge in the retreat container.
We cut off from our aliveness when we are lost in thoughts and on auto pilot. This meditation arouses a receptivity to sensation from “the inside out,” opens the awareness to sound, and then invites a full resting in receptive, dynamic presence (from the archives).
It doesn’t matter how many times the mind drifts. It’s the gentle re-arriving that retrains your heart and mind. Just to choose to come back… Perhaps to sense what might let go a little more… If there’s something that might want to relax a bit more right now… To listen to and feel the changing moment-to-moment experience with an awake, open awareness. ~ Tara
The mature expression of hope includes three elements: the aspiration for manifesting our full potential, a trust that this is possible, and an energy that engages to serve this unfolding. In this talk, we explore the importance of hope on the spiritual path, its shadow side, and how we can nourish hope through these three elements in a way that serves inner freedom and the healing of our world (a special favorite from the archives).