Archive for the ‘loving-kindness’ Category

Meditation: Metta

Monday, August 1st, 2011

To find out what metta means go here: Metta! What’s that?


Note: You can break down the steps if you want or need it.

Validation

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Here is something quite interesting to watch:

A smile can go a long way can it not?

When I first watched this, all I could think of was how one person could change the overall demeanor of another so easily and without any effort at all. These merely simple acts modify the mood of the people so quickly and efficiently, and if everyone in the world gave one compliment once a day, imagine what the world would be like…

-S.L

Kindness Beware!! Hippos Are Coming to Get You

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Just this week, i had been lucky enough to go the the LA Zoo to study animal behavior with one of my classes, where i chanced upon a couple of gargantuan hippos.

So thats just one of them lying there and looking like a rock, but back to my story.

While observing the hippo, one of the zoo workers had placed a plate of food away from this sleeping hippo, and next to the more active one. The eating hippo then proceeds to take food into its mouth but, it walks right over to the resting hippo and places its food right in front of its dear buddy, and the moving hippo does this until around half the content of the food bowl is left.

I had never thought animals could be so considerate to each other. Maybe it might be because i don’t see animals everyday, but this surprising act of kindness really caught me off guard. If a hippo can do this once a day, then i know the 7 billion people out there can set aside a little time and manage a simple kind task once a day too.

-by S.L.

METTA? What’s that?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

The Pali word “metta” is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, fellowship, amity, and non-violence. Metta is a universal, unselfish, and all-embracing love.

It is our motivation of human nature to promote our own interests. So when we transform that urge into the desire to promote the interests and happiness of others, we are promoting our own well-being in the best possible manner. I truly believe that metta makes the world a better place. I’m sure that every single one of us in the Young Wisdom Project try to incorporate metta into our everyday lives, and I would like to encourage everyone else to do the same. :)

-Diane

Kindness Beware! We’re Coming to Get You..

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Not too long ago, my friend and I were driving through a residential area which seemed to have a stop sign at every block. We were in a rush and there weren’t too many cars so my friend and I decided to run through all the stop signs. At about the fourth stop sign that he passed, I got a little nervous that the cops might be behind us so I looked back to make sure that there were no red and blue lights. At that exact moment I turned around, I caught a glimpse of an elderly lady who had fallen from her front door steps. Forgetting that my friend and I were late, we went to help the lady get back onto her feet and made sure she was okay.

Fortunately, the lady was okay. Unfortunately, many times in our lives we pass these opportunities of kindness, just like we pass by annoying stop signs. If we rush without paying attention to our surroundings, we miss the potential moments to lend a helping hand. Be aware of what goes on around you because we all can end up doing lots of amazing things if we just stop and look around us.

-S.L

What is LOVE?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Note: Way back at the beginning of April, a few of us in the YWP hosted a Day of Dhamma for the UC Riverside Buddhist Student Association (BSA). The topic for the day’s teachings was the ever popular topic of “love”. Below is a thoughtful reflection from James, one of the participants that day:

love love love

Source:  Hyoin Min, www.flickr.com/photos/nyoin

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LOVE. Love is universal; everyone experiences love, whether with their family, friends (or acquaintances), or in some cases with complete strangers. I had a general idea of what love was, caring for that person and worrying for that person, but I knew that every individual has a different interpretation of what love is. Some people think it’s showing affection, jealousy, worrying for others, taking time for others, buying them things, etc. If you asked me a couple of years ago I would have agreed with people who thought of these concepts about what love is. Upon learning about Buddhism, I have come to understand what true love is.

One day a Buddhist monk asked a group of us, “What is love?” Before I learned about Buddhism I would have answered how most people would have responded to this question—taking time for others, worrying about them, jealousy, etc. This monk advised us that showing compassion or taking time for others is part of love but worrying about individuals or jealousy is not. I was amazed as to why not. He told us that jealousy and worrying about people is actually a “sign” of attachment towards another person. I was lost since I thought that being attached to people was a good thing? It was an expression of my love towards that person. The monk further explained how being attached to things or people leads to suffering because someone day that thing will be gone or the people we love will pass; everything is impermanent in life. He explained that it does not mean that we should be indifferent to people—that is not what it means—we should show compassion to a point where we are not attached to individuals or items. This idea of what love is made sense.

Love is a complex emotion that we experience, but we must shift away from the type of love which leads towards attachment. I have come to learn about metta, or loving-kindness, a pure, unconditional and selfless love for yourself and others. This form of love is something great and a wonderful gift to express to others; hopefully these people will pass it on. So go to a person you love or a stranger and express metta!

~Guest post by James , member of the UCR Buddhist Student Association (BSA)

 

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Taking Care of Ourselves First: An Argument for Self-Care

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Let’s face it, if you’ve had the interesting karma to grow up within a household influenced by cultures other than the United States of American one, you’ve probably experienced the habit of caring for others before yourself. Your mother was probably this way: while you and others in your household were eating scrumptious platefuls of her cooking, she was gnawing away at the flesh left on bones and pits of fruits to give you the “best.” Your father has probably accused you of being “selfish” because you were doing what was best for you and not for the good of the family the way he was working 60-80 hours a week to pay for everything for everybody.

But how can you take care of others when you yourself are not happy and well? How can you have the energy to give when you barely have the energy to get through your day? How can you support others in their struggles when you are ravaged by your own troubles and problems?

If you are able to do it, it’s probably a noble but mediocre attempt because it’s not a 100% effort. Your intentions may be completely whole-hearted and divine but your methods may be flawed. So then what?

You must take care of yourself first!

Nourish your body with enough sleep and rest, nutritious foods and drinks, and physical activity and you will have the ability to get through everything with energy and strength. Take care of your mind by providing it with plenty of chances for problem solving, novelty, and skill building and you will be keen and alert. Feed your soul with meaningful activities, positivity, and goodness and you will shower yourself and those around you with the same.

Do you want to be that grumpy mother who’s snapping every 10 minutes at her family because she is exhausted and unsatisfied with her life? Can you accept your life if you are a father who works so much in order to provide for your family’s needs but you never have the time to spend with them? How long can you go if you are a friend who always supports and helps others but doesn’t allow others to help you?

Think of it this way: when you are well and happy, you can shine like the sun. If you can shine like the sun, you can shine on everyone and everything around you. How wonderful would it be if everyone were to shine?

-UN

The Adventures of Monk Baldy

Friday, April 15th, 2011

 

The incredibly dangerous, metta-filled adventure of the great monk baldy.

-Delphine/Dhammasukha/Phap Lac

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Anger Relief

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

“Don’t get mad, get glad.”

That phrase you might know from the Glad bag commercial. I agree with that 100%. That saying is a true-life expression. If you’re living in anger, let it go and be happy.

As the quote says:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who is burned.” -The Buddha

Holding on to anger makes your mental state disintegrate. Anger causes stress and stress is very deadly at a certain point. Think of it this way, stress is a battlefield created in your mind.

So next time you get angry let go and feel the loving feeling inside.

Don’t get mad, get glad.

~Hubert

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Mo’ Metta Mo’ Betta

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Metta, or loving-kindness, is a pure, unconditional, and selfless love for yourself and others. According to the Buddhist Teachings, metta is defined as the strong wish for the happiness and well-being of yourself and others, and words and actions that flow from this wish. Loving-kindness and wisdom go hand in hand.

Metta is radically different from our conventional and sensationalized Hollywood understanding of romantic love, which is typically based on desire, attraction, possessiveness, and self-interest. Metta is a form of love that is boundless and doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t based on your relationships, identity, preferences, or any other conditions, including what the other person has done for you lately!

You don’t share metta with this person but not that person. You don’t just share it only with people you like of a particular gender, race, personality, or status; you share it with other living beings without exception. And unlike “respect”, which is so conditional and relative, metta is both unconditional and constant. It can be described as a universal and unattached love since it seeks the happiness of literally all living beings, without limit and without seeking anything in return. In other words, metta is a “true love” that doesn’t revolve around “me”, “mine”, and “I.”

Just ask yourself when was the last time you even considered the happiness and well-being of not just your family, friends, partner, but ALL living beings? Metta isn’t just a nice pleasant thought or wishful thinking; it is a way of life and an attitude, a state of mind and being, and a skill that you can develop and improve with practice. By practicing it, we are literally training our minds and expanding its capacity to be kind and loving, positive and caring. We are also learning how to love in a wise way that doesn’t create suffering for ourselves and others.

And the good news is that everyone is capable of this kind of love. In the words of one wise monk, “It is a miracle that such a love exists, and that every single human being has the ability to develop it.” To start cultivating loving-kindness, you have to start with yourself first and foremost. The sincere aspiration for your own happiness and well-being is the very foundation of your happiness and all positive actions you do for yourself and the world. The Buddha once said that we can search the entire world and not find someone more deserving of loving-kindness than OURSELVES.

It’s not hard to spot people who have strong metta; in fact sometimes you can feel the energy of metta when they enter a room. And then there are those great beings who have made a profound impact on human history by embodying loving-kindness. Take a moment to think about just how powerful of an act this can be – to do our best to express and radiate kindness through our thoughts, words, and actions, at all times and at all places. Metta truly is a “love revolution”, a revolution that starts in the heart and ripples out into the world.

~Guest post by ST