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

No Feelings? No Chance

Watching a Dhamma Q&A this week I noticed there was something of a theme in the questions. Many of them revolved around asking about ways to alleviate fear, pain, grief, or anger. While it isn't unusual to ask these kinds of questions, even of ourselves, I wondered if this was part of a tendency we … Continue reading No Feelings? No Chance

Like Milk and Water

On top of everything else that is going on, one issue that a lot of people are dealing with right now is trying to get along with each other. Lockdown has unexpectedly led to us spending more time than usual in the company of our loved ones. But just because you love someone it doesn’t … Continue reading Like Milk and Water

Metta For Fear

Life is always uncertain but at the moment that uncertainty seems more apparent than usual. At times like this naturally we take refuge in our practices, but while they can support us through testing times they often don't give us clear situation specific instructions to follow. We are never really told what to do. Instead … Continue reading Metta For Fear

Living Without Resistance

If you know anything about Buddhism then the phrase ‘letting go’ is nothing new to you. We all know that letting go can be hard, but sometimes we don’t even realise that we haven’t let go because we can’t recognise that we are holding on to something. We might think that we have no problems … Continue reading Living Without Resistance

Love For All Beings

‘You don’t believe in God though, do you? Or reincarnation, I mean that’s just silly.’ For Westerners coming to Buddhism, often from a background of a theistic religion like Christianity or Judaism, the initial appeal of it is that you don’t need to believe in anything. Jaded by their experience of the dogma and the … Continue reading Love For All Beings