Love

Radiating through the cultivation of Love.

We promote a healthy emotional life by teaching people how to be kind to themselves and others.

The Development of Loving-kindness meditation empowers people to change their neural pathways toward experiences that normally lead to reactive emotions. Setting aside the time to develop loving-kindness toward oneself and others, we do this by remembering, with a proactive spirit, the various types of people we are likely encounter in any given day.

The Development of Loving-kindness

The Development of Loving-kindness was popularized by Shakyamuni Buddha and Patanjali for dwelling in the “Abodes of Brahma.” When this attitude is given room to flourish, it naturally progresses into all the other traditional abodes by preparing ourselves to responsibly meet the suffering of others with compassion, their happiness with sympathetic joy, the ebbs and flows of our own and others’ lives with equanimity, as well as meeting whatever is worthy of admiration and respect with emotionally mature devotion.

There are five stages to the Development of Loving-kindness:

1. Developing a warmhearted feeling toward oneself by thinking, “May I have great love; may I have kind love. In body, may I be well. In mind, may I be well. May my happiness shine forth from its own inner radiance.”

2. Then remember a friend, traditionally a person who is the same sex and still alive, and extend your feelings of well-wishing toward them by thinking, “May you have great love; may you have kind love. In body, may you be well. In mind, may you be well. May your happiness shine forth from your own inner radiance.”

3. Then remember someone “neutral,” whose face you know, but whom you have yet to meet or formed a clear opinion, thinking, “May you have great love; may you have kind love. In body, may you be well. In mind, may you be well. May your happiness shine forth from your own inner radiance.”

4. Then remember someone emotionally challenging, with whom you have anger difficulties, but not so overwhelmingly that it becomes a total distraction, thinking, “May you have great love; may you have kind love. In body, may you be well. In mind, may you be well. May your happiness shine forth from your own inner radiance.”

5. Lastly, imagine all three people seated before you and try to equalize the feeling of well-wishing among you: raising the friend to the level of self-regard; raising the neutral person to the level of a friend; and raising the difficult person to the level of warmhearted evenness, as with a neutral person. Then extend and radiate that feeling in all directions, to as many beings as you can imagine.

– If you want to take this final stage even further, it is traditional in Mahayana Buddhism to end with also wishing all atoms (dharmas) in each being be well, and then extend your loving-kindness to the vibrant space in which all atoms are born, live, and return.

Benefits

– Rehearse for the three types of people you will encounter each day in a space where you can develop new, proactive neural pathways.
– Gain an emotional equivalent to intellectual understandings.
– Learn a meditation rarely taught in modern hatha-yoga circles that is the first one Patanjali recommends in his Yoga Sutra (I.33).
– Practice a classic mind training exercise, used by a host of lineages across Asia, connecting The Tradition in South Asia with Neoplatonists in the West through the Druze, Sufi, Mithraic tradition of Zoroatrianism, and Manichaeism.
– Absorb painful experiences by letting your own natural inner radiance shine forth.

Loving-kindness is part of an essential and progressive System of Meditation

  • Integrating in a centripetal way through focusing on the breath.
  • Radiating in a centrifugal way the natural positivity of a healthy mammalian brain.
  • Releasing of elemental accumulations that create a fixed, rigid sense of self.
  • Imagining other dimensions of being that lift the spirit and provide inspiration.

Why “Health, Love, Awareness, and Abundance”?

Buddhist teachings began with a man who defined himself as “Awake” – which is the literal translation of Buddha. And this Awakened One said that the quality of being describing his experience was the absence of greed, hatred, and ignorance.

Health is the physical foundation for developing Abundance (non-greed), Love (non-hate), and Awareness (non-ignorance).

Simply put, these four qualities – Health, Love, Awareness, and Abundance – define the whole of Buddhist mental and physical cultivation in a universal and easily operative way.


FRIEND US