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Lions Roar : January 2018
Toward Friends Now extend those good wishes to those whom you like, your family, mentors, good friends, and others: “May you be safe and protected from physical and mental harm. May you be strong and healthy. May you be peaceful and happy. May you live with joy and ease.” Toward Neutral Beings Now we extend our good will toward neutral beings—people and other liv- ing beings we neither like nor dislike. It’s always useful to check in: do you actually have neutral beings in your life? I don’t. My mind will quickly divide, even very slightly, between those I like and those I don’t like. That is something worth not- ing if it’s true for you. Then you can recite something like: “Though you are a neutral being to me— meaning I do not engage with you that much—I know you are like me in that and spread in a viral fashion. When you practice metta, you kind of work up a ladder. You go from people like family and friends, people it’s easy for you to feel good will toward, to those you don’t know. Then, ascending as you are able to—not forcing anything—you extend wishes for safety, happiness, and peace to those you dislike and those you consider your enemies. Finally, at the ultimate level, you extend your good will to all living beings in the universe. It’s a pretty tall order—although pos- sible for some people—to feel loving and kind toward those who are perpetrators of violence and oppression. Even to feel good will toward them might be difficult. So we can frame this meditation as the cultivation of nonhatred and nonfear in order to become stronger, more stable, and more centered. Then we can move forward in a positive fashion to battle oppression and create some improve- ment for our communities and the United States overall. Metta meditation can be done in a brief flash of good wishes or it can be practiced continuously over many days. First, find a place to sit or lie down quietly and comfortably. Make sure that you’re in a place of reasonable safety. You can close your eyes or keep them open a little. You might take a few deep breaths to begin, calming and steadying yourself to the best of your ability. You might want to gently and lightly place a hand on your heart or your cheek or another part of your body in any way that promotes a feeling of inner safety and that helps to connect you to your courage and compassion. Then you can begin the practice. Good Will Toward Yourself Using these words or others—because you can adapt this however you like— you begin with these wishes of good will to yourself: “May I be safe and protected from physical and mental harm. May I be strong and healthy and enjoy well-being. May I be peaceful and truly happy. May I live my life with more joy and ease.” Winter Retreats in Santa Fe, New Mexico SEE ENTIRE CALENDAR, TEACHINGS, AND MORE AT WWW.UPAYA.ORG SANTA FE, NM 505-986-8518 ext. 112 REGISTRAR@UPAYA.ORG february 2 - 18, 2018 February Zen Circle The Zen Circle Retreat Series is an opportunity to enter a time of retreat, learning, meditation practice, and participation with Upaya’s residential community. Threaded by Senseis Joshin Byrnes and Genzan Quennell, the Circle includes these programs which may also be registered for separately: feb 2 - 4 The Way of Haiku: Shiki and Modern Japanese Haiku Writers R oan Halifax, Sensei Kaz T Natalie Goldberg, Clark Strand feb 9 - 11 Calligraphy: Heart of the Brush Sensei Kaz T feb 16 - 18 Unsaying, Not Knowing, and Pointing at the Moon: Language and Nondual Practice J march 9 - 11, 2018 G.R.A.C.E.®: Training in Cultivating Compassion-based Interactions R oan Halifax, P Cynda Hylton R AAN; A ack, MD LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2018 28 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE