Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More on Metta

So I led the Meditation workshop again on Sunday. (I love that workshop.) During the workshop we try different styles of meditation and chat about it afterwards to see how it worked. We do two that focus on the breath, one that focuses on the body's sensations and one that is guided in a "metta" style, which I've described before.

During the metta meditation we end up at one point imagining someone we're withholding our love from and we send it anyway, even though we may not like that person. It's an interesting experience if you haven't tried it. Anyways, there was someone in the class with cancer and she told me afterwards that the metta thing didn't work for her because part of her practice is to imagine her cancer like someone she hates and try to get them to go away. Wow. I said then that this meditation wouldn't be indicated in her case as it is going against what she's been working with.

I can't imagine hating someone so badly that there's no compassion for them. I wind up feeling some compassion for people or I get to a place where I can imagine they're doing the best they can with what they have and making it not necessarily okay that they're being that way, but I can at least understand that's how they are. Maybe I'm naive and there really are evil people or I've been lucky to have not been around people I hate or maybe I've been brainwashed by a cult or something. I don't believe there are bad people. I believe people do bad things and that we are all capable of doing "bad things" under certain circumstances.

Anyways, if I end up having cancer, I don't think it will work for me to imagine my cancer as something hated to make go away. I can imagine making it go away - my sister told me they're using the idea of popping bubbles that are misshaped with kids - that might work for me. I'm hoping I won't have to find out, but I'm well aware I have no idea how it's going to go!

I learned something for sure and I have a better understanding of what it's like for some people during the meditation we're doing. Another opportunity for me to learn and to be sensitive to other peoples' experiences.

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