using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2019
HOW TO PRACTICE LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION Loving-kindness or metta meditation is a time-honored practice for opening the heart. MUSHIM PATRICIA IKEDA takes us through it, step by step. METTAIS A MEDITATION practice that involves concentrating and reciting, either silently or out loud, phrases of good wishes toward your- self and others. Metta is usually translated as “loving-kindness,” but I prefer Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of metta as “goodwill.” What this form of meditation is designed to do—and for many people does ver y suc- cessfully—is to purify us of hatred and ill will. Goodwill, or loving-kindness, is the antidote to ill will, hatred, and enmity. 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 goodwill toward, to those you don’t know. Then, ascending as you’re able to— not forcing anything—you extend wishes for safety, happiness, and peace to those you dislike or consider your enemies. Finally, at the ultimate level, you extend your goodwill to all living beings in the universe. Metta meditation can be done in a brief flash of good wishes or it can be practiced continu- ously over many days. Before beginning, 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, calming and steadying yourself to the best of your ability. You might want to gently and lightly place a hand on your heart or cheek or another part of your body to pro- mote a feeling of inner safety and to help connect you to your compassion. Then you can begin the practice. ♦ Goodwill Toward Yourself Using these words or others— because you can adapt this however you like—you begin with these wishes of goodwill 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.” 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 goodwill toward neutral beings—people and other living beings we neither like nor dis- like. 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 noting 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 you have joys, sorrows, and pain in your life. Therefore, I wish you well. May you live your life with more joy and ease.” Toward Enemies Thich Nhat Hanh said, “While it is easy to love the lovable, it may be the unlovable who need our love more.” So the next stage is to express your goodwill, to the extent you can, toward someone who has caused you some slight injury. Then, to the extent possible, you can extend these good wishes toward people who have caused you more pain, and to institutions and organi- zations that have caused you, your family, or your community pain and suffering. Let this develop naturally; relax and invite yourself to experi- ment with it. Toward All Beings Finally, you extend metta to all living beings in the universe. You might visualize yourself as a kind of lighthouse, with goodwill and loving-kindness streaming out from your heart and body in every direction, including up and down. We want to be 360 degrees of metta. “May all beings be safe and protected from harm. May each and every being without excep- tion be strong and healthy. May all living beings be peaceful and know true happiness. May each and every living being without exception live their lives with more joy and ease. And together may we complete the great journey of awakening.” MUSHIM PATRICIA IKEDA is a Buddhist teacher and social activist. She also work s as a diversity and inclusion consultant. LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2019 56