How to be as Kind as a Buddha — Practices to Cultivate Kindness for Self and CommunityOn Mon, 1 January, 2024 - 18:14
How to be as Kind as a Buddha —
Practices to Cultivate Kindness for Self and Community
Meditation, Dharma, Community — every Sunday 10-11:45am ET, in-person at Gateway Taiji or online on Zoom, beginning January 7.
“Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.”
From the Karaniya Metta Sutta
“Love where there is no reason to love.” Sangharakshita
Like a garden, kindness needs to be cultivated; kindness needs the right conditions to grow and flourish. What are those conditions and how do we find or create them? Every Sunday we’ll be exploring practices that create the best conditions within ourselves and our communities for kindness to take root, thrive and bear fruit.
Metta, or universal loving-kindness, is known as an immeasurable, in that it has limitless application and leads to a heart and mind free of constriction. The every-day practice of kindness leads to a freer, more expansive heart. How big can your heart grow?
The cultivation of meditative calm with radiant positive emotion is a central dynamic of Buddhist spiritual life. The heart and mind are changeable — painful states of hatred and craving can be let go of as we cultivate the qualities we wish to embody, such as kindness or contentment. This process is deeply healing and integrating; this practice can ‘burn up’ the karmic residue of unskillful habits, and create momentums of inspiration and love that transform us and our communities.
The Brahma Viharas (Sublime Abodes or Immeasurables) are a collection of meditation practices based in the development and embodiment of metta or loving-kindness. They are kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. We will explore each of these practices, learning to be with whatever we feel, finding freedom from the constriction of ill-will, and showing us the way to deeper expressions of positive emotion.