Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Loving kindness towards Others- Readings for Wednesday March 20th
This Wednesday we will begin our discussion of chapter 8 (step 8) in James Baraz’s book Awakening Joy, entitled “The Joy of Loving Others.”. You can print out a copy of the chapter by clicking on the link below:
The focus of this chapter is on cultivating a loving heart towards other beings through “mindful” attention. As the Dalai Lama said, “It is important to understand how much your own happiness is linked to that of others. There is no individual happiness totally independent of others.”
To prepare for next week’s topic you may like to try the following exercise:
Begin by sitting quietly and then thinking of someone you love dearly (pets are fine too.) As you imagine this person or being, begin to notice what happens in your body. Maybe the chest feels warm. Maybe a smile comes to your face.
Let your attention rest on the feeling of that loving energy. See if you can determine where this feeling comes from? Does it belong to the being you are focusing on, or doe it emanate from somewhere deep inside us?
Over time see if you can become aware of how these feelings change. Do you notice any aversions arisen towards these feelings? Perhaps a critical voice, a tightening of the chest, fear, etc., that make it difficult to maintain this loving energy? Is it possible when these aversions arise to let them go? See if you can continue this exploration for a period of ½ hour.
This exercise can help us get in touch with sensations in the body associated with loving others. When we focus on others who activate feelings of love and appreciation, we can cultivate a loving heart by bringing mindful attention to those feelings. The more we do this the more we become aware that love is not out there in them but right inside of us.
I look forward to exploring this practice of cultivation loving kindness towards others with you all. See you next Wednesday.