The Philosophy of Metta Meditation

What loving-kindness meditation can teach us about ethics

Mindfulness Meditation: A Growing Trend

Of all the world’s religions, Buddhism — in its vast manifestations — resembles that of what can be considered “philosophy” the most. That is not to say that there are not the typical elements of what we ordinary associate with religion with (namely, otherworldliness and far out their metaphysics). However, unlike most religions, the doctrines of Buddhism — most of which are referred to as sutras (aphoristic scriptures attributed to the word of the Buddha) — contain profoundly novel ethical doctrines and practical customs in which metaphysics need not be taken into account. 

One of these practices is meditation. Meditation, like the different forms of Buddhism, comes in a wide variety of differing manifestations. The most popular form of meditation at the time — at least in the West — is mindfulness meditation, or, vipassana. Vipassana at bottom is simply making a strong attempt at being aware of the contents of consciousness as they are prior to our ego’s attachment to concepts towards them. So, for instance, sitting outdoors and paying attention to all of the sensations that are arising in the present moment, and not doing anything with your thoughts and/or intentions towards such sensations — simply, just being the passive recipient of them. 

Philosophically, this can certainly lead to profound insights. Notions like a lack of free will, the illusion of the notion of a “self” and the non-dual nature (interdependent) of Being can be accessed through this method of meditation. 

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2 thoughts on “The Philosophy of Metta Meditation

  1. It is interesting how mindfulness meditation and a sort of “default healthy” Tend to orbit around Buddhism and that kind of philosophy of existence.

    I was reading an offer the other day and he pointed out something that I have long been attempting to sort out. The eastern types of philosophy have no philosophy of actuality. That is to say, the posit what is actual as a state of utter COM or some sort of being that is either entirely present or entirely absent. Are they really kind of say about the actuality of living is that we get through them by keeping a sort of either “Entirely present”kind of attitude, or and “entirely absent” kind. It tends to posit that whatever we were doing we need to be fully invested in so far as its goal or his basis is calmness and peace, we’re basically resorting all actual activity to a kind of “better place” then what one is actually going through. If we are entirely present in this way then we are taught to not embrace what is actually occurring but rather defer always what is occurring to this peaceful centered nothingness.

    And then really the only other thing I might have to say about actually living is something about karma maybe or samsara or something.

    On the other hand, and this is a more western kind of philosophy, so to speak, but not philosophy in the strict sense of academy. The western kind of view upon the kind of philosophy of actuality is that there is a path that can be typified. That indeed the actuality of living is that people try to think various ways about whatever situation they’re in in order to get through that moment. But that indeed this moment has a higher meaning, this this moment of meaning that I am in, the meaning that I making of it, whether good or bad, whether difficult, whether cumbersome or conflictual, is part of a larger force, part of a movement with it which is ultimately justified in that it is intimately integrated and moving with the universe.

    Contrary to the Buddhist or the eastern kind of general philosophies, this kind of western path does not tend to defer what is actually current to something that is entirely present or entirely absent, as those categories are really movements away from what is actually occurring.

    And I mean this in the sense that what we typically understand as mindfulness, mindfulness practices, because there really is nothing that is mindfulness itself: mindfulness is just another idealistic metaphysics, a replacement term for God or Nirvana or heaven or fill in the blank. That guy who came up with mindfulness, his name starts with a Z I think, he really had it right because he wasn’t proposing to speak about some sort of state that we ever actually find. He brought up mindfulness practices in the sense of Buddhism practices and stuff in the sense that it is a practice of actually living life as it is. It is a mindful practice, it is a practice, a practicing of being present to mind. But that this does not indicate indicate any state of being in particular, because the mindful state, the practicing which is mindfulness can even occur while I am angry. Wow I am super irritated that I dropped this bottle of spaghetti sauce and there’s glass all over the floor. I can practice being mindful while I am frustrated and angry that I cut my toe on the glass.

    This is the more, I think, actual situation that both Buddhism and or eastern as well as the western kind of philosophies are ultimately trying to indicate.

    That there is no way, on one hand, to avoid the emotional state, to avoid accidents, to avoid making mistakes, to avoid getting in conflict — that indeed all these things are going to happen in a human life regardless of what we do. Hence mindfulness helps me be invested in a larger picture then my most immediate circumstance, not to defer my anger to some sort of more true or better place, but to embody in encompass and on my anger for indeed a valid part of the existence and being that I am.

    Then the western component actually plots these typical patterns of existence, these typical manners by which we walk the path from. And by walking the path of us walk the path and except whatever is occurring because it is part of the universal human manner of going through life, again from birth to death.

    Any other type of appropriation of these ideas is ultimately an attempt to bypass or ultimately tell myself or refi to myself that something is incorrect or off, basically that what experience I’m going through is not valid in itself but only the content of the thoughts about the experience is valid and true.

    And when we are caught up in the contents of our thoughts about things as opposed to the actual experience of things which includes our thoughts, we tend to want to discount our anxiety as something that is incorrect or wrong because it feels bad, and because indeed my mind is telling me that something is wrong and it is bad, or because society is telling me this or because my family is falling apart.

    Both of these paths that we’re talking about here ultimately attempt to guide the person into a larger picture in which she is involved intimately.

    For I’d say one of the key issues of mental health is that we don’t ever really want to own and occupy our own body let alone the world that is given to us. So, ultimately we have to be careful about what meaning we’re coming to so far as what practices we might be doing, and attempt to understand whether or not this particular way of viewing a practice is really geared toward falling away from myself or becoming more involved in the intimate relationship that is my self with the world.

    Note; when I walk my dog I I am voice dictating my replies, so they tend to get kind of long so I apologize if that’s too long.

    Thank you for your post

    Like

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