Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sending Metta to Haiti

The earth cannot help the way it shudders. The people cannot help the way they suffer. Yet we hope for the possible, do what we can, open our hearts to peace. May they who no longer breathe be at peace. May those who breathe in fear be at peace. May brothers and sisters around the world share their hearts with Haiti. This is a form of Metta meditation.

The practice of sending compassion (Metta) to others is a powerful way to open your heart and share your energy even from a distance. Begin with acknowledging that suffering is the human condition, and that the recognition of the causes of suffering (the fear caused by grasping and attachment... even to life itself but certainly to outcomes and conditions) is the fundamental path towards the cessation of suffering. In this way you can begin to approach the pain of the situation.

Sitting in stillness, walking with single-pointed focus, laying down with deeply alert consciousness are all ways in which you can allow your focus to open out and send compassion beyond your physical self. Start with yourself. Then open to others, beginning with those you love, then a neutral person about whom you have neither strong positive nor negative feelings, then someone about whom you have negative feelings. At this point in your practice the depth of your compassion and awareness will open to include all other beings. You can use words similar to the ones at the beginning of this blog, or a more traditional sequence such as the one here.

May I (you, all beings, people) be free from pain
May I (....) be free from fear
May I (....) be free from suffering
May I (....) be at peace
May I (you, all beings, people) be free

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