Metta is wishing well to ourselves, to others and to all beings and in a way that takes us beyond our usual limits and preferences. 2,500 years ago the Buddha described and taught metta or loving kindness as a way to develop positivity and warmth, to leave behind harmful emotions, and to connect with other people at a deeper level. He saw it as liberating and called it ‘freedom of heart’. Our experiences of ourselves and other people can change for the good in ways we could not have imagined.
To develop metta, we need to acknowledge – also with kindness - our actual habitual emotions, and the views and expectations that can hold us back. We can then contact our natural sense of connection with other living beings and move towards a compassionate or even joyful response.
We will fully introduce the Metta Bhavana meditation (the development of loving kindness). In a series of structured stages, we begin with developing kindness towards ourselves, which is deeply important but doesn’t always feel easy! We then send our well-wishing to a range of individuals and then to all living beings. The retreat will also include activities to explore bringing kindness and compassion into our daily lives, small discussion groups, presentations, and some time for ourselves: to relax, let go and appreciate sitting quietly or walking in the landscape.
The retreat is led by women who are ordained within the Triratna Buddhist Community and are experienced meditators and teachers. They may well have very different lifestyles and be different ages. They may be living in the spiritual community at Taraloka, working in the world or bringing up a family. However, they will look forward to sharing the vision and practice of metta with you and within the beauty of Taraloka and its landscape.