Posted by: Upāsaka | 11/18/2012

Dropping Below Thinking

 Brahma Asking Lord Buddha to TeachThe title of today’s post is perhaps the best way I can describe today’s metta bhavana practice despite not yet being able to articulate what exactly was going on using a traditional, Suttanta or commentarial-based understanding. What I can say is that I intuited the need to let go of the the dry and sterile thinking that was leading me to a no-man’s land of discursive reasoning about metta rather than feeling either the warmth of loving-kindness or the intention behind it. As cliched as it may sound, I found that the only way for me to stay seated on the cushion was to drop my attention from my head down into the center of my chest and rest in the confidence of my intention to extend metta to myself.

Perhaps the most interesting observation that has resulted from sits like these is the fact that, contrary to popular belief, there is a great need of faith (for me at least) in order to continue following the path. For yours truly, at times when I can com up with no logical reason why I should cultivate metta for myself or anyone else I am reminded that the Lord Buddha, upon attaining Nibbana ultimately decided to teach the Dhamma out of compassion for the world when he could just have easily remained in silent bliss until his parinibbana. Why does this thought strengthen my saddha? Well, I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with the thought that the mind when cleaned of the defilements wants happiness for all beings and I would rather put my trust in that then in the endless eel-wrigglings of an aversive mind.

Sabbītiyo vivajjantu
sabbarogo vinassatu
mā te bhava tvan tarayo
sukhī dighā yuko bhava

 

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