Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 05/15/2013

Metta Bhavana as a Parami Practice

I walked home with my teacher last night after meditation and we ended up talking about a number of things concerning the practice but the one thing that stood out was his encouragement to take up metta bhavana not as a concetration practice but as what he has termed a parami practice. Writing it down I realize that I should have queiried him a little more on his reasoning for labeling it as parami practice in contradistinction to concentration practice but I think I have inuited the meaning. In short, since we use anapanasati as the primary practice in our community we are encouraged to devote as much quality time to it as possible. So, while my teacher recommends we practice metta bhavana it isn’t intended to produce jhana as he advises we do 10 to 15 minutes of it at a maximum during our daily practice.

Although there is a part of me that wants to question and find fault with his advice it seems that I am pretty much already practicing in this way. For whatever reason, anapanasati seems to lead me more easily into states of ease and deeper concentration the does metta bhavana and my sessions of the latter have always been shorter. So, I will follow my teacher’s recommendations not solely out of respect but also because (once again) his counsel seems to be wise and well-spoken. Having said that I intend to orgainze my daily practice with a 50 minute AM anapanasati, a 35 minute PM anapanasati and 10 minutes of metta bhavana late PM. Wish me luck!

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happinesss!


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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.