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Lions Roar : March 2015
weekly sitting groups, and get support through daylong retreats. If you cannot find these groups in your geographic area—get like-minded and like-hearted friends to sit with you. We never walk our spiritual path alone, and the teachings show us that we actually awaken together. Attend to these BASICS, and the rest will follow. Each teach- ing leads to all of the teachings, bringing us greater freedom in our hearts and clarity in our minds. LARRY YANG teaches meditation retreats nationally and is committed to creating access to the dharma for diverse multicultural communities. He is a core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland and the Insight Community of the Desert in Palm Springs. Loving-Kindness for Yourself and Others KATHLEEN MCDONALD teaches Metta Loving-kindness, or Metta, is wishing ourselves and others to be happy. The Buddha taught us to generate this attitude toward all living beings, and he explained its many benefits. Not only is loving-kindness beneficial for others, it will also help us to be happier, healthier, and even sleep better at night! Many teachers recommend first cultivating love for our- selves, because we cannot truly love others if we do not love ourselves. But if you find that too difficult, you can start with another person you find easy to love, then later move back to yourself. Preparation Sit comfortably. Relax your body and mind, letting all thoughts and worries subside. Mindfully observe your breath until you are calm and your awareness is focused in the here-and-now. Motivation Think that you are doing this meditation for the benefit of all living beings. Decide to do your best to stay focused on the meditation and not be distracted elsewhere. The Meditation Start by getting in touch with the feeling of loving-kindness. You can do this by thinking of someone you care about and let- ting your love for that person arise in your heart. (Note: Don’t worry if you are unable to actually feel love right away; it’s enough simply to do the following contemplation, and accept whatever experiences arise.) DIGITALBUDDHA:WWW.AIAPPAREL.COM SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 58