Week Seven – Loving Kindness (Part Two)
We went live with Week Seven on Wednesday May 13th, 2020.
You can watch the entire YouTube recording HERE.
Below we will be breaking it down into seven separate chunks. The format for this (and every week) is that there are some meditations broken up by some commentary about the nature, purpose and benefits of meditation.
Part One – Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to week seven of Introduction to Meditation.
In the first half of the series we looked at a variety of different meditation techniques including awareness meditation, mantra meditation and loving kindness meditation. We explored what meditation is, and dove into some of the details of how to break it down into constituent parts.
This week we start to focus a bit more on the why of meditation – why is it so important and beneficial.
Most people come to meditation to feel better. That’s a perfectly valid reason to start, and it works. Most people who meditated feel better. But it is not the only reason, and this week we actually suggest there is a far, far more important reason to take this practice seriously.
Part Two – The first meditation (10 minutes)
Relatively quickly we get down to do our first meditation. Simple, classic, focussing on the breath. When you notice you’ve lost focus, simply let go of the new focus and re-focus back on the breath. Start again. Rinse and repeat.
Part Three – The Potential for Love is not the same as the Reality of Love
A premise of loving kindness meditation is that we all have an incredible capacity for love. That however is not the real point as most of us don’t practice it nearly as much as we might. Meditation is the vehicle through which we can cultivate our capacity and turn our potential into reality.
Part Four – Circle of Benefactors
The first meditation we did is based on a Buddhist practice made popular in the West by John Makransky.
Part Five – Four Aspects of Love
One model of love suggests there are at least four dimensions to this practice, namely love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
Part Six – Final Meditation – Compassion Meditation
The culmination of the class – we’ve warmed up to this point and here we go all out on loving kindness meditation. This is based on another Buddhist practice from the Theravada tradition, known as metta.
Part Seven – Wrapup and Close
Congratulations for getting this far. Here we are left with a final thought about what’s at stake.