Compassion prevents love and sympathetic joy from turning into states of self-satisfied complacency with a jealously-guarded petty happiness. Compassion stirs and urges love to widen its sphere; it stirs and urges sympathetic joy to search for fresh nourishment. Thus it helps both of them to grow into boundless states.
In a way there is only one Brahma Vihara and it’s the Metta Bhavana, but when you, with your metta, happen to come into contact with pain and suffering, the metta automatically, or rather spontaneously, becomes transformed into Karuna. When it comes into contact with the joy of others, it automatically becomes transformed into sympathetic joy. And similarly when your metta is extended equally towards all there is equanimity. So YOU look after metta and the other three will look after themselves. You don’t have to think about them. They depend on circumstances.
In her second talk of the 2015 Rainy Season Retreat, Ratnavandana embarks on a personal sharing of how her life has been transformed by deciding to go and live in the mandala of the Brahma Viharas and the Jinas themselves. Her deep love of the practices represents both an inspired and eminently practical vision of how to orientate yourself on the great map of the way…
Includes a guided meditation practice to help you find your feet wherever you...
By jvalamalini on Mon, 16 Mar, 2015 - 13:59A damp grey Monday morning outside and the warmth of the Sangha and colour of the mandala in our shrine room.
Today we’re exploring metta in the brahma vihara realm and allowing Aksobhya’s qualities to draw us.
We did metta exercises in pairs, looking at each other with metta, and describing ourselves as our best friend would, then Ratnavandana gave a lovely short introduction to the metta bhavana which she led. She talked about not ‘doing’ the practice...
Ratnavandana lead us through a meditation where we just try to be present with our experience in the context of the mandala of the Five archetypal Buddhas. Today we are invited to sit in the “heart’s natural state” of metta (loving kindness) and to visualise the great tree of the Brahma Viharas.
A full puja with some great readings to close the first full day of the retreat. Complete with Ratnavandana’s introduction to ritual as an important element of sitting with the archetypal Buddhas, and a short guided meditation.
A beautiful introduction by Ratnavandana to the Brahma Viharas as an integrated set of practices flowing from metta - loving kindness. Her central image is that of a tree, deep rooted and spreading its canopy wide as she evokes a profound, personal connection to the cultivation of the ‘sublime abodes’: loving kindness, compassion, joy with others, and equanimity.
Ratnavandana also leads a guided meditation on cultivating a connection to the Brahma Viharas.