Loving kindness of awareness
KL wrote: How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta? I need some hardcore heart melting pointers. Thanks!
Hello. Here's my take on this matter of metta or loving kindness. Actually, I will narrate a simple practice to accompany my point.
1. First, sit down in a good relaxed posture. Close your eyes. Take a few deeper breaths if you feel like it. Then let the breath be on it's own. Scan the inside of the physical body. Be alert to notice any tentions. As you notice tensions, allow them to be released. When a tension releases, what is found from the place of the released tension? Look carefully to find that out... What you find is open space. Good. Continue releasing other tensions by going through the whole body space. No hurry, do it carefully with time and everytime a tension is released notice that open space in the place of the former tension. As you keep doing this for a couple of minutes the small areas of open space begins to feel like one unified field of open space that is both in and out of the physical body. Check if this is so. Make notice of this and marinate in that space. Rest in that with time with some sharpness of mind so that you don't become drowsy or distracted.
2. Now. See if the open space both within and without your physical body is alive. Is it? Does it seem to be alive? Living? As you notice this aliveness of the wide open space within you, see if there is anyone there or is the "me" absent. As the point of this study is not on selfless nature of the mind, I will go on to loving kindness. So, the inner space is wide open, free, alive and there is no me found there. Check yourself. Now, see if that aliveness quality is also kind. Is it? And is it also loving? Compassionate? Personally I have found that this awake awareness has all those qualities and yet is without self. In fact, if there is self concerned with this love, kindness and compassion, it becomes artificially flavored.
So there. Based on this experiment we can understand that we don't need to cultivate loving kindness or do some spwcial tricks as it is already right there within and without us. Just relax, recognise the open space and focus on the aliveness of it, instead of it knowing itself or the stillness of it or the clarity of it. Having said all this, I have to say that doing this exercise requires some ability to relax and focus at the same time. However, it is a very direct practice based on principles without any technical or ritual factors, so it can also have significant effects. Hope this helps.
KL wrote: This really, really helped me. Somehow it made me remember that I discovered the alive nature of space when I was a child. Thank you so much for reminding me. How could I have forgotten? How could I have been practicing so long without noticing it?!?!
Baba wrote: Yup, that's the mother of all healers. You're welcome. May your traumas be washed away completely.
- Baba Kim Katami,
Open Heart, www.openheart.fi