Compassion & Loving kindness Meditations by Steve Weissman
- "This approach to compassion and loving kindness differs from the more usual metta-bhavana meditation in that it is intended to develop wisdom. These meditations are therefore closer to vipassana type practices rather than samatha or concentration. With these meditations, we start by focusing our attention on a particular subject, whether ourselves, another person, an animal or any other living being, and reflect on the difficulties that the subject is, or might be, experiencing, allowing our compassion to arise for them. We then wish them compassion and loving kindness, a combined expression of a sincere hope that the person, persons, or beings will be free from their difficulties and find inner peace and happiness.
There are several different systems that can be used to guide this reflection, for example:
* Start with yourself, then reflect about someone you like, someone who is neutral to you and someone you don't like.
* Start with yourself, then with your closest family and relatives: husband, wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, expanding to the rest of your relatives, friends, teachers and, depending on how much time you have, you could continue expanding to other people and creatures. Upon finishing, it can be helpful to come back to yourself.
* Start with yourself, then the person who is spatially closest to you (next to you or in the next room), then expand to all the people in your building or on your street. Expanding again to all in your town, all in your country and so on. Again, when finishing, it can be helpful to come back to yourself.
* Use grouping systems such as ages (one year at a time 0100), people with different occupations (the alphabet helps; airplane pilots, barbers, cooks, etc.), mental problems (anger, boredom, etc.), countries, or any other way of grouping people. This gives the mind a "map" to follow for what subjects to think of, making it less likely that the mind wanders off, thinking, "Oh, whom should I do next?"
From: The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation
by Steve Weissman
For Free Distribution, as a gift of Dhamma, from the Buddhist Publication Society
With metta / Antony.