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Metta coming back at you.

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Metta coming back at you.
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6/9/20 5:21 PM
I'm not sure where the best place for this post is. I am putting in Magick and the Powers because of its supernatural element - people who are triggered by the subject can avoid it if they wish. 

One of the things about metta meditation that I haven't seen mentioned is that if you chose God, a spirit guide, or the spirit of a loved one, as the object of your meditation you might feel the metta coming back at you from them.

RE: Metta coming back at you.
Answer
6/8/20 11:29 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Hmm. In _The Path to Nibbana_, they say "Now we will select our next object of meditation, the Spiritual Friend. It is very important that they are a living person, of the same sex, and are not a member of your family."

I have always thought they did not phrase that well, the part about same sex. What they really seem to mean is, don't pick a person that you could ever develop lustful feelings for.

I think their justification for not choosing family members is that there could be complicated baggage.

"Do not radiate to a person who is dead—the feeling will not arise correctly, as there is no personal connection that can be made." I interpret this to mean that if you know a person is deceased, a logical brain just doesn't feel the same way about them. It is not possible to affect the deceased person. It's probably fine to send metta to a person you incorrectly believe to be alive. But once you know, something unconducive to cultivation happens.

I can't seem to find it in the book at the moment, but I think I saw a testimonial in there of someone feeling as if the feeling was coming back to them. They at least mention feeling as if the spiritual friend is smiling back.

RE: Metta coming back at you.
Answer
6/9/20 1:06 AM as a reply to Brian.
Brian:
Hmm. In _The Path to Nibbana_, they say "Now we will select our next object of meditation, the Spiritual Friend. It is very important that they are a living person, of the same sex, and are not a member of your family."

I have always thought they did not phrase that well, the part about same sex. What they really seem to mean is, don't pick a person that you could ever develop lustful feelings for.

I think their justification for not choosing family members is that there could be complicated baggage.

"Do not radiate to a person who is dead—the feeling will not arise correctly, as there is no personal connection that can be made." I interpret this to mean that if you know a person is deceased, a logical brain just doesn't feel the same way about them. It is not possible to affect the deceased person. It's probably fine to send metta to a person you incorrectly believe to be alive. But once you know, something unconducive to cultivation happens.

I can't seem to find it in the book at the moment, but I think I saw a testimonial in there of someone feeling as if the feeling was coming back to them. They at least mention feeling as if the spiritual friend is smiling back.

That may be good advice for a beginner. I am not a master teacher of metta meditation so I am not qualified to have an opinion. However I do think once someone has learned the technique and has some facility with it and is using it to elevate their mood, it would be okay to do what I said. That is more in line with what I was thinking about when I wrote the post. I was not thinking that someone would do that as their main practice of metta when learning.

Aside from the point about using family members, the point about not making an emotional connection with a dead person may be true for some people but is not true for everyone. If you loved the person while they lived and you believe in the afterlife, you can have a very strong connection. 



Thanks

RE: Metta coming back at you.
Answer
6/9/20 5:25 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

One of the things about metta meditation that I haven't seen mentioned is that if you chose God, a spirit guide, or the spirit of a loved one, as the object of your meditation you might feel the metta coming back at you from them.

Whether they are Buddhist or not, many religious people who never heard of metta meditation experience this naturally in prayer without having to be taught. And this has been going on since long before Buddhism originated.

And in my opinion it is not a bad way to develop the siddhis.

RE: Metta coming back at you.
Answer
6/9/20 5:51 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I also think we are free to be creative, I often do metta thinking of one of my grandmothers, who passed away last year. It works pretty well ! And sometimes interesting things happen. I am not at all into powers and magic, so have nothing to tell on that front, but here is a short story about heart :

During my last retreat we used a mix of metta/visualization to practice open awareness, "asking" some figure we idealize to come lend us their consciousness, and meditate for us, to take over our experience and get us to mahamudra.

I would think of my grandmother, imagining her as embodying the highest spiritual and heart qualities (it was an idealized version of her, of course).

A while later, a very strong image appeared in my mind : it was myself, as a child. The image itself I could recognize from a picture I own. I must be three or four or five years old, my father is there with other kids, and I'm just completely absorbed in my book (things don't change), looking baby-like still, with cute and kinda long curly hair. The image appeared, and then the kid looked up and gazed at me, eyes in the eyes, very intensly. In this moment I had the craziest feeling, goosebumps everywhere, elation, I knew that this kid was my child, and I felt the deepest love for him, a love I have rarely experienced, but that I imagine parents must feel - the kind where you know you could die for that one. 

It was a very special moment, and I have a sense that this is actually what she would have felt looking at her grandchildren... Very very moving and intense. 

So, I can feel what you're talking about Jim, although I don't necessarily believe in an "afterlife" (well, what do we mean by that exactly, etc.)

RE: Metta coming back at you.
Answer
6/9/20 7:35 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
I also think we are free to be creative, I often do metta thinking of one of my grandmothers, who passed away last year. It works pretty well ! And sometimes interesting things happen. I am not at all into powers and magic, so have nothing to tell on that front, but here is a short story about heart :

During my last retreat we used a mix of metta/visualization to practice open awareness, "asking" some figure we idealize to come lend us their consciousness, and meditate for us, to take over our experience and get us to mahamudra.

I would think of my grandmother, imagining her as embodying the highest spiritual and heart qualities (it was an idealized version of her, of course).

A while later, a very strong image appeared in my mind : it was myself, as a child. The image itself I could recognize from a picture I own. I must be three or four or five years old, my father is there with other kids, and I'm just completely absorbed in my book (things don't change), looking baby-like still, with cute and kinda long curly hair. The image appeared, and then the kid looked up and gazed at me, eyes in the eyes, very intensly. In this moment I had the craziest feeling, goosebumps everywhere, elation, I knew that this kid was my child, and I felt the deepest love for him, a love I have rarely experienced, but that I imagine parents must feel - the kind where you know you could die for that one. 

It was a very special moment, and I have a sense that this is actually what she would have felt looking at her grandchildren... Very very moving and intense. 

So, I can feel what you're talking about Jim, although I don't necessarily believe in an "afterlife" (well, what do we mean by that exactly, etc.)

That is awesome!

Thanks for sharing.

My belief in the afterlife is based on emperical evidence and my own experiences.  

You wrote: "a love I have rarely experienced"
The most intense love I ever felt was when I was giving a reading in a mediumship class and a deceased girlfriend came through for one of my classmates. I felt how much she still loved him. It was intense. I was stunned. All I could think of was that I wished someone loved me that much!