Hardcore Metta

KundaliniLinguini, modified 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 12:36 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 11:54 AM

Hardcore Metta

Posts: 39 Join Date: 1/9/16 Recent Posts
How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta?

How would for example an autistic person who feels like a robot and has no empathy or sympathy cultivate metta?

How about someone who even hates themselves?

I need some hardcore heart melting pointers.

Thanks!
neko, modified 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 12:23 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 12:23 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Start with metta toward yourself.
KundaliniLinguini, modified 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 12:36 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 12:36 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 39 Join Date: 1/9/16 Recent Posts
neko:
Start with metta toward yourself.


Forgot to add... also someone who has a lot of self-loathing, aversion to self. How would someone who hates themselves learn to love one's self?
Ann, modified 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 1:04 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 1:04 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 49 Join Date: 12/8/15 Recent Posts
Officially, I'm ADHD/Aspergers. Believe it or not, people on the autism spectrum do have feelings and the whole empathy thing is widely disputed, but I think I get what you're driving at.

I'm certainly no metta expert, but my recommendation would be to start with any warm fuzzy tender feeling. Do you like puppies? Kittens? Babies? Identify something--anything--that gives you that feeling and use it to practice calling that feeling up and making it stronger. It's basically a particular kind of concentration meditation.

Many people seem to have a hard time feeling metta for themselves, but I see it as similar to what they tell you on airplanes--in case of emergency, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others because otherwise you're no good to anyone.
thumbnail
Saturatedfat, modified 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 8:03 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/16/16 7:39 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 8 Join Date: 12/26/15 Recent Posts
If you can hate yourself then you also have the capacity to love.After I had a sudden kundalini awakening there was a time when I couldn't remember a single happy memory in my entire life and it felt like total hell.
My advice would be forget all about fucking chakra meditation and focus only on the heart chakra and this will balance all the other chakras.this worked for me.
To develop proper loving kindness you need to develop all four brahmaviharas.Karuna,Mudita,Metta,Upekkha.

Karuna is feeling sad for others suffering and wishing them peace and love.For developing this go to a hospital watch suffering patients fighting just to stay alive.Then later you can practice loving kidness for them in your sitting metta meditation.

Mudita is feeling happiness for others accomplishments.This is just free happiness,you don't even have to do anything.Surprisingly facebook and other social medias are great for practicing mudita.Everyone try to show their best side side on the social medias so instead of feeling jealous developing mudita really works wonders.

Metta or maitri is friendliness.You can develop this with sitting metta meditation.Ajhan sujatos instruction worked for me.If you are really all alone and don't have good freind you can get a dog or a cat or even planting a tree and taking care of it can help.

Upekkha or equanimity will automatically develop by practicing the the other brahmaviharas.

And for strengthening your sitting metta meditation you can also practice walking metta meditation.After completing sitting metta meditation stand up,touch your heart area with both your hands and really generate the feeling of metta with your eyes closed.then start walking AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE.take each step after like 20-30 seconds.As you take each step feel that you are kissing the earth with your feet and radiate peace and love.Make this kissing sensation at your feet as the object of your meditation.If you do it correctly in no time you'll be fucking blissed out and feel that you can bless the whole world.


This video shows self compassion really well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRqI4lxuXAw
thumbnail
Andrew K, modified 6 Years ago at 1/17/16 5:36 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/17/16 5:36 AM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 54 Join Date: 4/14/12 Recent Posts
You can start with reciting/thinking/writing metta thoughts and phrases - may i be happy etc. Feelings are the experience of your thoughts in your body - so after some practice these positive thoughts towards oneself will be felt more strongly as feelings. So you might not feel any difference at first, but just thinking the thoughts is beneficial - eventually it will develop into feelings too.

You can practice cultivating metta regardless of how much or how little love or self love you had in your past or what type of experiences you had in your past - once you are even open to considering the idea and have the intention to do so (as yourself) that is the most important thing and the only thing you need to start the practice.

Maybe want to try "softcore" metta - its about gentleness and patience after all ;)

An overall attitude of metta i think means being kind and patient with yourself in all ways - in how you think about yourself, how you treat yourself, how you forgive yourself, the things you allow yourself or not, how you behave to yourself and to others etc. How you treat your body - if you put junk in it or good food in it, if you allow it to rest when it needs to, if you touch it gently or treat it like a robot, if you listen when it says it is too cold or too hot, or if you even listen to it at all etc. You could imagine what if this body belonged to somebody else, would they be happy with how you are treating it?

I've spent many years hating myself and had a traumatic upbringing too, and have also practiced metta and it does work. You just need to cultivate a sincere wish to be happy and recognise that that is ok and not selfish and be patient with yourself in discovering and walking that path and not dictating how it should develop and how quick it should happen. You can't decide you're going to be super entirel self loving by friday. It's more like watering a plant and it takes time and grows on its own terms.

Also the forgiveness stuff for self and others is really useful. Guided compassion, metta and forgiveness meditations are all part of the overall picture of skills necessary for this, they're not optional. You need to learn forgiveness for self because mistakes are inevitable so you need to learn how to treat yourself when you make them. Compassion too, cos you need to learn to forgive others too of course cos they will also make mistakes. etc etc.
thumbnail
Pablo CEG, modified 6 Years ago at 1/17/16 7:00 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/17/16 7:00 AM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 23 Join Date: 7/7/15 Recent Posts
KundaliniLinguini:
I need some hardcore heart melting pointers.

Not actually a heart melting pointer, but could help:

While watching a good comedy film, see yourself the lasting mood after you have laughed at a joke/gag/etc. Focus on that good mood and try to  make it last longer. That would help you when trying to make Metta last in meditation. 
thumbnail
Kim Katami, modified 6 Years ago at 1/18/16 3:34 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/18/16 3:34 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 704 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
KundaliniLinguini:
How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta?

How would for example an autistic person who feels like a robot and has no empathy or sympathy cultivate metta?

How about someone who even hates themselves?

I need some hardcore heart melting pointers.

Thanks!

Hello,

Here's my take on this matter of metta or loving kindness. Actually, I will narrate a simple practice to accompany my point.

1. First, sit down in a good relaxed posture. Close your eyes. Take a few deeper breaths if you feel like it. Then let the breath be on it's own. Scan the inside of the physical body. Be alert to notice any tentions. As you notice tensions, allow them to be released. When a tension releases , what is found from the place of the released tension? Look carefully to find that out... What you find is open space. Good. Continue releasing other tensions by going throgh the whole body space. No hurry, do it carefully with time and everytime a tensions is released notive that open space in the place of former tension. Now as you keep doing this the small spots of open space starts to feel like one unified field of open space that is both in and out of the physical body. Notice that and marinate in that space. Rest in that with time with some sharpness of mind so that you don't become drowsy.

2. Now. See if the open space both within and without your physical body is alive. Is it? Does it seem to be alive? Living? As you notice this aliveness of the wide open space within you, see if there is anyone there or is the "me" absent. As the point of this study is not on selfless nature of the mind, I will go on to loving kindness. So, the inner space is wide open, free, alive and there is no me found there. Check yourself. Now, see if that aliveness quality is also kind. Is it? And is it also loving? Compassionate? Personally I have found that this awake awareness has all those qualities and yet is without self. In fact, if there is self concerned with this love, kindness and compassion, it becomes artificially flavored.

So there. Based on this experiment we can understand that we don't need to cultivate loving kindness or do some spwcial tricks as it is already right there within and without us. Just relax, recognise the open space and focus on the aliveness of it, instead of it knowing itself or the stillness of it or the clarity of it. Having said all this, I have to say that doing this exercise requires some ability to relax and focus at the same time. However, it is a very direct practice based on principles without any technical or ritual factors, so it can also have significant effects.

Hope this helps,
Baba
thumbnail
CJMacie, modified 6 Years ago at 1/19/16 6:38 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/19/16 6:13 AM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 856 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re: KundaliniLinguini (1/16/16 12:36 PM)

"How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta?"

Other perspectives:

Consider metta translated as 'good-will' (e.g. as Thanissaro Bhikkhu / Than-Geoff uses), or 'benevolence' (as by Ven. Analayo), rather than 'love', which, especially in the West, is heavily infected with connotations of craving and projection of need, and steeped in emotion. Some monk/writer I once read said, in part rhetorically, metta has nothing to do with emotion. It can have to do with recognition and attitude – recognizing that all beings at root simply want to be happy, and cultivating an attitude of wishing them so.

All
the original sources discussing metta in the Suttanta speak of cultivating such an attitude and spreading it out, in all directions, to all beings, without limitation. As Ann (1/16/16 1:04 PM as a reply to KundaliniLinguini) points out: "It's basically a particular kind of concentration meditation"; many teachers emphasize this (e.g. Ajahn Sujato). The spreading-out to unboundedness is like "extension" of the nimitta used with some types of concentration objects, to allow the awareness to become totally engulfed, absorbed in it (and extinguishing the self orientation).

The 'love' of one person for another often involves boundedness, "bonding", one to the other, as well as a sort of centeredness on the I/me/mine (as in the emotional need aspect). The emphasis on teaching metta beginning with "loving yourself", is found nowhere in the sutta-s; it's wholly an, albeit pragmatic, invention of the commentarial tradition (the earliest I've found it is in the Vimuttimagga, ca. 1st-century CE). In fact, in the Visudhimagga (5th century), the question is raised why begin with yourself, since that's not mentioned in the sutta-s? The rationale offered is as by way of example: all people (or, say, most) cherish themselves above all, just want to be happy, so this is used as a readily accessible basis for extension to other beings. For one from "a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is", this route is perhaps less accessible. But that doesn't mean metta should be inaccessible.

The word metta is akin to the word mitta, usually translated as 'friend', which connotes a kind of working mutually supporting relationship, not necessarily 'love'; rather a mutual trust, reliance, watching-out for each other's well-being.

As Andrew K (1/17/16 5:36 AM as a reply to KundaliniLinguini) mentions: "its about gentleness and patience after all". In fact, in both the Vimuttimagga and Visudhimagga, the instructions on metta are prefaced with long passages on the necessity of cultivating patience and defusing anger, even before getting into the various specific metta practice methods; metta is not anger-therapy. One aspect of dealing with the anger thing might be approaching it out of the context of "I" and "other", i.e. likely the context of past experiences conditioning deep-seated resentment.

That rather famous quotation from the Karaniya Metta Sutta:
    "
As a mother would risk her life to
    protect her child, her only child,
    even so should one cultivate a limitless heart

    with regard to all beings.
"

This is interpreted by Than-Geoff less as referring to a mother's emotional attachment ('love') for the child, and more as representing the strength of determination to be applied in metta cultivation, taking the strength of a mother's motivation more as fierce instinctual preservation of the speices than self-centered emotion.

One thing might be to go back and read, several times, the "Karaniya Metta Sutta: Good Will" (Sn1.8; Khp 9; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.than.html).

As mentioned at the outset, this is all presenting alternative perspectives, potential aids in metta cultivation; not saying other interpretations are wrong.
KundaliniLinguini, modified 6 Years ago at 1/19/16 7:59 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/19/16 7:59 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 39 Join Date: 1/9/16 Recent Posts
Kim Katami:
KundaliniLinguini:
How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta?

How would for example an autistic person who feels like a robot and has no empathy or sympathy cultivate metta?

How about someone who even hates themselves?

I need some hardcore heart melting pointers.

Thanks!

Hello,

Here's my take on this matter of metta or loving kindness. Actually, I will narrate a simple practice to accompany my point.

1. First, sit down in a good relaxed posture. Close your eyes. Take a few deeper breaths if you feel like it. Then let the breath be on it's own. Scan the inside of the physical body. Be alert to notice any tentions. As you notice tensions, allow them to be released. When a tension releases , what is found from the place of the released tension? Look carefully to find that out... What you find is open space. Good. Continue releasing other tensions by going throgh the whole body space. No hurry, do it carefully with time and everytime a tensions is released notive that open space in the place of former tension. Now as you keep doing this the small spots of open space starts to feel like one unified field of open space that is both in and out of the physical body. Notice that and marinate in that space. Rest in that with time with some sharpness of mind so that you don't become drowsy.

2. Now. See if the open space both within and without your physical body is alive. Is it? Does it seem to be alive? Living? As you notice this aliveness of the wide open space within you, see if there is anyone there or is the "me" absent. As the point of this study is not on selfless nature of the mind, I will go on to loving kindness. So, the inner space is wide open, free, alive and there is no me found there. Check yourself. Now, see if that aliveness quality is also kind. Is it? And is it also loving? Compassionate? Personally I have found that this awake awareness has all those qualities and yet is without self. In fact, if there is self concerned with this love, kindness and compassion, it becomes artificially flavored.

So there. Based on this experiment we can understand that we don't need to cultivate loving kindness or do some spwcial tricks as it is already right there within and without us. Just relax, recognise the open space and focus on the aliveness of it, instead of it knowing itself or the stillness of it or the clarity of it. Having said all this, I have to say that doing this exercise requires some ability to relax and focus at the same time. However, it is a very direct practice based on principles without any technical or ritual factors, so it can also have significant effects.

Hope this helps,
Baba

This really, really helped me. Somehow it made me remember that I discovered the alive nature of space when I was a child. Thank you so much for reminding me. How could I have forgotten? How could I have been practicing so long without noticing it?!?!
thumbnail
Kim Katami, modified 6 Years ago at 1/20/16 1:03 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 1/20/16 1:03 AM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 704 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Yup, that's the mother of all healers. You're welcome. May your traumas be washed away completely.

Baba
Dan Jones, modified 2 Years ago at 9/29/19 11:56 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 9/29/19 11:55 PM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 40 Join Date: 3/15/18 Recent Posts
KundaliniLinguini:
How does someone who had a traumatic childhood and very little concept of what love is cultivate metta?

How would for example an autistic person who feels like a robot and has no empathy or sympathy cultivate metta?

How about someone who even hates themselves?

I need some hardcore heart melting pointers.

Thanks!

Very interesting questions and I'm interested in pragmatic responses from the coal-face of this practice, people who have tried , failed ,etc,

re: your questions, I wouldn't know, but if I hear "Hardcore Metta" first person that comes to mind is Sharon Salzberg who, if I recall correctly, had a traumatic childhood and also went to study metta with U Pandita for quite some time (which is less common than studying Vipassana from him). I would look at their biography, they might seem all soft and cuddly and wishy-washy now, but my understanding is they used to have a real edge. But I don't know, you would have to investigate their biography & trainings for yourself, just a pointer to a potential resource. emoticon
thumbnail
Jordi, modified 2 Years ago at 9/30/19 6:19 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 9/30/19 6:19 AM

RE: Hardcore Metta

Posts: 84 Join Date: 9/17/17 Recent Posts
Really good adivices and explanations!  I save this post as PDF! emoticon