Going Through the Motions

My focus this week remains on wholesome intention, this time inspired by reading about how the Buddha challenged the mainstream beliefs of his time by stating that what dictated the outcome of an action wasn’t the action itself, but the intention that was behind it. The opposite of the Buddha’s view can manifest in practice … Continue reading Going Through the Motions

Upekkhā: Equanimity, Insight, and Peace

Brahmaviharas Part 5 This week we are on the fourth and final of the Brahmaviharas - upekkhā or equanimity as it is unanimously translated as. Often treated by some as the pinnacle achievement of practice, equanimity is one of the most important factors to develop to support meditation that can lead to insight. It seems … Continue reading Upekkhā: Equanimity, Insight, and Peace

Muditā: Happiness and Contentment

Brahmaviharas Part 4 Muditā, or sympathetic joy, is a curious concept. Of all the Brahmaviharas it gets the least attention, and in some ways it is the hardest to translate. As a quality I might also suggest it can feel like the hardest of the Brahmaviharas covered so far to cultivate, and yet once we … Continue reading Muditā: Happiness and Contentment

Karuna – Compassion and Wisdom

The Brahmaviharas Part 3 Carrying on the theme of the Brahmaviharas, this week it is the turn of karuna – compassion, the wish for others to not suffer. As the second Brahmavihara it follows as a natural development from mettā; when we have no ill will towards people then we have no reason to want … Continue reading Karuna – Compassion and Wisdom

Mettā: A Foundation of Kindness

The Brahmaviharas Part 2 Carrying on with the theme of the Brahmaviharas, this week I am looking at mettā , or loving-kindness as it is commonly translated into English. Most people are instinctively drawn to ideas about love, and it is a fairly universal belief that the power of love is a tremendous force for … Continue reading Mettā: A Foundation of Kindness

The Brahmaviharas – Immeasurable States of Mind

The Brahmaviharas Part 1 I’ve been writing about  mind states and latent tendencies recently so now seems like a good point to explore the role that positive mind states can play in our practice. The Brahmaviharas are the most obvious example of these kinds of practice that focus on the deliberate cultivation of positive mind … Continue reading The Brahmaviharas – Immeasurable States of Mind

Better With Metta

Last week I was looking at the difficulty of letting go of our habit of taking our thoughts seriously, and this eventually led me to think about whether there was a function in practices like metta, that goes beyond the worthy attitudes that they cultivate. Does metta have a wider role in the development of … Continue reading Better With Metta

For Ourselves, For Others

Following on From last week’s post about balance in our practice, this week I have been inspired by a sutta about acrobats. But the balance this time isn’t about being on a high wire, it is about striking the right balance between personal practice and practice aimed at helping others. There’s no doubt that this … Continue reading For Ourselves, For Others

A Balanced Practice

I was reading a book recently that gave me a chance to think about what can happen when our practice develops in an unbalanced way, when we focus too much on one skill or area and end up neglecting others. The Buddha described his teaching as ‘the middle way’, which for those who practice it … Continue reading A Balanced Practice