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Lions Roar : May 2016
STAGES THREE AND FOUR A Close Acquaintance, and a Group Let go of the image of that person and substitute that of another close acquaintance, creating the feeling of metta around them by using your inner speech in the same way: “May you live in happiness...” Imagine them right before you until the metta glows bright and constant around them. Next substitute an entire group of people, perhaps all the people who live in your house. Develop the caring glow of metta around them in the same way: “May you be well and happy...” In the simile of the campfire, you are now putting on the logs. Golden Radiance See if you can imagine metta to be a golden radiance emanating from a beautiful white lotus flower in the middle of your heart. Allow that radiance of loving-kindness to expand in all directions, embracing more and more living beings until it becomes bound- less, filling up all that you can imagine. “May all living beings, near or far, great or small, be happy and at peace...” Bathe the whole universe in the warmth of the golden light of kindfulness. Stay there for a while. In the simile of the campfire, the fire is now roaring and very hot and can now burn the wet and sappy logs. Think about your enemy. Visualize someone who has hurt you badly. You will be astonished that your metta is now strong enough for you to forgive them. You are now able to share the healing golden glow of loving-kindness with them as well: “Friend, whatever you have done to me, revenge will not help either of us, so instead I wish you well. I sincerely wish you freedom from the pain of the past and joy in all your future. May the beauty of this unconditional loving-kindness reach you as well, bringing you happiness and contentment.” When the fire of metta burns strong, nothing can withstand it. Next, there is one final “wet and sappy stick” to be tossed into the fire of metta. Most meditators find that the hardest person to give loving- kindness to is themselves. ♦ From Kindfulness, by Ajahn Brahm. Adapted with permission of Wisdom Publications. LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 67