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(2) Metta by Charlotte Bell

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  • Antony Woods
    The Buddha said the proximate cause for unconditional love is the recognition of the good qualities in ourselves and others. Every human being is a
    Message 1 of 2 , May 5 4:55 PM
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      "The Buddha said the proximate cause for unconditional love is the
      recognition of the good qualities in ourselves and others. Every
      human being is a constellation of qualities — pleasant and
      unpleasant, skillful and unskillful. While it is healthy to open our
      hearts to all we see and feel, we can choose where we place our
      intention. When we focus on what we don't like about ourselves and
      others, we feed ill will. How do we feel then, when we choose to
      focus on the good in ourselves and others? How do those around us
      respond?

      So, the cultivation of metta begins with the intention to focus on
      the good in all beings. Another way to help develop the quality of
      lovingkindness is to take the time to see and understand the
      perspectives of others. We all experience our common reality from a
      variety of different angles. The willingness to explore perspectives
      outside our own can help us to understand the motivations of those
      whose behavior confuses or threatens us.

      The third way of cultivating metta is to practice it as a meditation.
      In the practice, there are four traditional phrases that help develop
      the quality of lovingkindness. These phrases are repeated silently to
      onesself with the intention of reflecting on their meaning and their
      relationship to the being to whom they are directed. The phrases I've
      suggested below are the wordings that I have chosen to fit my own
      understanding. Feel free to come up with your own ways of expressing
      their meanings.

      It is helpful to remember that the phrases are not orders or
      affirmations. They simply extend a wish. We can not make other people
      change just because we wish it to be so.
      http://charlottebellyoga.com/metta.html
      This essay appeared in Catalyst Magazine in 2002

      Posted with the kind permission of Charlotte Bell
      http://charlottebellyoga.com/bio.html
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