Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/18/2013

Metta Bhavana – Another Approach

Throughout the years I have experimented with different techniques for cultivating metta, largely due to the fact that I have always become impatient with the results. Obviously (if only due to the title of the blog) I feel that the brahma viharas are an incredibly important part of the path for me, as a layperson, to cultivate but the question of just how to do so effectively has always plagued me. As a result, I have returned to the one practice that has actually produced piti and sukha: anapanasati. I think my successes with anapanasati are due largely to my teacher and the community which has grown up around his teachings (which are, in essence, identical to those of his teacher Thanissaro Bhikkhu). I honestly feel that it is this lack of a teacher and community that focus on the brahma viharas is what has stymied my progress in cultivating metta. But, I am embarking on yet another technique which, along with my routine of breath meditation I intend to stick with until death or the development of metta. (Scary thing to be making that kind of aditthana but I feel that its about time to get serious).

So, my plan is to use the technique outlined in this brief PDF booklet here. By sticking with the first phrase “Aham sukhito homi” which may be rendered as “May I be happy” until I can actually feel it and moving on through each Pali phrase only when I can feel its impact in the heart. This could take years or lifetimes but, given the perception of anatta it doesn’t matter if I never make it to any of the other groups.



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