Kevin Griffin, Surrey Margareta, Sharon Salzberg discussed on 10% Happier with Dan Harris


Download the ten percent happier app in the apple app store. And then tap on the podcast tab at the bottom of the screen. Okay here we go. Now with kevin griffin kevin griffin. Welcome back to the show. Thank you dan. thanks for having me back. I'm amazed i assumed you know. I'd be on the blacklist. After my last time. I always assume the worst of me. Oh that that might be subject for another time. So we're talking about love and kindness today. And and i know we're gonna get into your view of what some of us may get wrong about this but before we get into what we may get wrong about for the uninitiated. How'd you describe loving kindness or meta m. e. t. t. a. practice. What is it so metta practice as opposed to just meta itself. Either or both. Well i mean say. That's even a really important distinction from me. So there's a traditional meta practice. we call it. Traditional the booted did not teach it. But it comes from. I think about five hundred. Eighty the surrey margareta so the path purification which was a commentary on the teachings of the buddha and in that we find this practice which really was made most famous by sharon salzberg. Who i know it you know. And it's a very intentional way of trying to develop loving feelings and it uses phrases where you repeat phrases. Typically may i be happy may be peaceful may be safe. May you be happy. May you be peaceful may be safe and there are many other variations on the phrases but along those lines. So they're just noticing that they are not sort of exactly prayers and they're not demands but they're sort of requests the systematic part. Besides the phrases is that we go through different categories of people starting with the self not necessarily often starting with self. Some people prefer to start with something easier like your cat. You know which is not a person. I guess but Could be helpful easy one to feel love towards so we kind of start with the easy ones and then work with our dear ones and then work with what we call neutral people just just sorta like everybody that you don't know essentially and then into difficult people and often it's just you pick one difficult person and so after you've gone through those categories repeating these phrases and kind of feeling the breath and your body feeling the breath in your heart center in the middle of the chest so you're trying to kind of connect with this feeling. Then once you go through those categories than you do a practice called radiating to sort of radiating loving kindness out to all beings ultimate land and i. I like to do that. Sort of almost geographical way imagining where i live my neighborhood and then my city and then outward around the planet and you can do the whole universe. If you're you know ambitious so it's very systematic and fairly simple in terms of how it's done. What i think one of things that it's very appealing about it is that it gives us something very specific to do you know because a lot of times when you're just trying to follow your breath or just try to be mindful. It's hard to forget what. What am i doing what. The breath is seemed so ephemeral. In like your china drifting around but so the meta form Really helps the mind. I think to stay focused. Which is again one of its values one of its peripheral values. So that's the practice but you made a distinction between the practice and the quality of mind. Yeah so my book. Living kindness kind of goes through. This is what was the buddha really talking about an are we getting it right and in. What ways are we getting it. I don't even like to say wrong. But are we missing something and so just the you know the word loving kindness are the compound loving kindness sort of awkward to start with and confusing. Because if it's love why do you have to add kindness to it. And then of course we realize well because in our her language in our culture love can mean a lot of different things. That aren't about kindness. You know they can be about sacks that can be about desire can be about food or do you latest net flicks show so we add kindness to to clarify that so of k. But that's still sort of doesn't explain too much to me. So i go back to the suitors their early buddhist teachings to try to see what the buddhist talking about and this is where for me it becomes interesting because so much of what the buddha talked about when he was talking about. Loving kindness was not loving. china's was non what he would call non ill-will and say you have a typical like we run into these phrases in the status. That are sort of what. What's he mean by what. Why is he even saying that. Why doesn't he just say love. And that opens up a whole kind of area to think about first of all that the heart of the buddhist teaching is about letting go so if he says you should love people it's sort of creating the potential for craving and for attachment so instead of that says just don't hate people an interesting distinction because i find it difficult to get that motivated necessarily to love everybody i can. I can have compassion and kind of a broad sense of for the world..

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