Category: Brahmavihāra Meditations

Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg

Metta is meant to be done in the easiest way possible.

So that the experience of lovingkindness springs forth most gently, the most naturally.

To do it in the easiest way possible means first to use phrases that are personally meaningful.

The traditional phrases as their  taught in this one classical translation of them, beginning with oneself.


‘May I be free from danger.

May I know safety.’


The danger in that sense is both inner danger from the force of certain mind states and outer danger.


‘May I be free from danger.

May I have mental happiness.

May I have physical happiness.

May I have ease of well-being.’


Which means may I not have to struggle terribly day-by day — livelihood and family issues.


‘May I be free from danger.

May I have mental happiness.’


But really you should use any phrases that are powerful for you.

They need to be meaningful — not just in a very temporary way.

I guess the discourse is ok — but something profound that you’d wish for yourself and others.


Tonglen by Tulku Tsori Rinpoche


So by taking 3 breaths in and out.

We take a breath in.


When we take a breath in — visualizing that all the mother beings out there suffering

Visualize something like this

Everyone is in the ocean…drowning.


One another — on top of each other — stepping on each other — almost looks like deceiving each other and killing each other and stealing each other.

All kinds of negative.

And I am here — so fortunate to be able to recognize those — and how can I help them — these mother beings?


And visualize that way.

And take one breath in — visualizing I’m taking all dark smoke from this world.

Keep the breath as long as possible.

And visualize that when


Taking all the breath in — visualize all the negativities from all the mother beings —  dark black smoke we are taking in

And visualize you are taking down and pushing down in your stomach.

And visualize that everything is rotating with your sickness and suffering and all the negativities.

And visualize that it became one.

And then, relieve.


We take the second breath.


We’ll do the same thing.

We’ll take whatever leftover there in this Universe.

Whatever left over of dark smoke, dark negativities.

We’ll take inside.

And do the same thing.


We’ll take whatever is left over

Visualize that it all get together.

And then…


Each breath you stay as long as you can.

The end of the breath — the last one.

You take a breath in.

Visualize tiny little things.

Whatever leftover — taking in.

And then relieve.


Nothing left in this Universe.

And then…visualize yourself.

Your body became crystal clear.

Like don’t think of those organs and heart and liver and all those things.


Think your body became like a crystal.

You can see thought it.

Nothing left.

All empty.



Visualize in the front of you — in a space.

Visualize a Buddha….Shatamuta Buddha image.

From this Shatamutta Buddha image…

Don’t visualize like a picture, painted picture.

Or solid — some kind of statue.


Visualize like a RAMBO-type.

If you want to grab, there is nothing to grab.

But still it exists.

Make it appear something like that.

And visualize that incredible, you know, image, that is full of color.


From his forehead — very sharp light — a very sharp, bright light.

From his forehead to your forehead.

And that sharp, bright light — is never seen such a light like that.

That much brightness

Shoots at our forehead.


And visualize that dropping the nectar in our body.

From throat to the leg and up.

Visualizing slowly — it’s filing up the pure nectar of blessing from the Buddha’s.

And visualize that its filling up and up and up.

And flowing up.

Flowing outside.


And purifying everything and cleaning up.

And it’s blowing like it’s

Becoming bigger and bigger and bigger.


Bigger and bigger and bigger.

And all countless pores that we have in our body.

Those pores are opening.


And visualize each and every detail — single pores are opening like a flower

Countless flowers throughout our body.

And visualize that each and every single flower shooting countless from ten directions from our body.

Shooting a spark light.

Countless spark light.


Shooting throughout all ten directions towards all those mother beings whom you’ve taken all their negativities.

Now you’re shooting the positive, compassion, unconditional love and compassion towards them.

Through the Buddha’s blessing

Power of your compassion.


And it shoots in the center chest of their heart.

once it shoots, you know like, —shhooooooomp — unconcious type.

And regain of concious.

New one.

Like new life.


Transform into enlightened.

Instantly when they receive that light.

Shoots in their heart and they transform into enlightened beings.

And they are all doing the same thing to

Transforming yourself into a countless


And they are doing the same thing benefiting many other sentient beings.

And visualize summer.

So enjoying.

And they’re dancing, singing.


Visualize that there are so many raining with the flowers.

All the Buddha’s and Boddhistatvas are so happy, fulfilled  by what practice you have done.

And you think yourself “How fortunate I am.” How fortunate I am  that i’m born as a human being.’ And not only human being but I coudl touched with this Buddha dharma. And I found this great paththat leadsa me to this great compassion, lovingkindness towards other sentient beings.

And rejoice yourself, “How fortunate i am to be able to do this.”


And visualize that i wish that truly in my future life i gain this power of compassion and I am able to benefit all the countless mother beings that are suffering out there.


Rejoice yourself.

Enjoy that moment.

What a wonderful life.

How fortunate I am.


Stay in that moment. And enjoy.

And then, after some time, visualize that the flowers.

dissolve back to our body.


And then visualize that light also dissolve back to the Buddha’s image.

And that Buddha image that we have made appear in this space

in this empty space.


Visualize that dissolve back into one tiny light and disolve by itself into space.

And then I would like you guys to visualize in that empty space and stay in that empty space for a few minute.


So that way — we can start our day.

That way — we will never hate anyone.

Because — the day begin from your compassion practice.


All beings are our mother beings.

And we can be able to maintain our tolerance, patience with our kind mother beings.

And then think of your Lama, your spiritual master.

And pray and dedicate all of those whatever good deed you have done today.

Just dedicate to all the mother beings.

Tonglen by Pema Chödrön



So begin with just a śamatha vipassana.


Begin with just — listen to the gong and let your mind rest in this sense of openness and stillness.

Begin to breathe in. Completely and fully.

Taking in dark, heavy, hot feeling of claustrophobia.

Just taking it completely into your being.

Breathing out — light, cool, and refreshing.


Radiating it out throughout this whole room.

Across the mountains.

Letting it dissolve out all over the world.

And breathing in and out again.

Dark, heavy and hot.


Taking it in completely.

Breathing out light, cool, and refreshing.

Radiating it out.

360 degrees.


Do this until it really feels synchronized with the breath.

Heaviness, darkness coming in.

The freshness, lightness going out.


Take a very deep in-breath.

Relax —- an expansive out-breath.


Opening your being to the dark, and heavy, and painful — as you breathe in.

Just open to it as you breath in.

Then just let go and send out a sense of freshness, light.


Then when you feel ready, move onto a very real situation

Begin to do Tonglen for another person.

Suggesting that you do it for someone very close to you.


Particularly a family member.

Breathing in — with the wish that they be free of suffering — and sending them out — the wish that they have happiness and whatever would make them happy.

Breathing in— with the wish that they be free of suffering — taking in their suffering — sending out the sense of relief, spaciousness, happiness to them.


And then as soon as possible

Extend that further to all the people who are in the same situation as your family member.


If something gets in the way and this isn’t possible.

Keep this practice real by just shifting the attention and doing Tonglen with the feeling that’s blocking you.

And just breathe that in and own that feeling completely for yourself and all the other people in the same boat as you.

And breathe out relief for yourself and all the others.


Have a feeling of completely opening your heart and mind when you breathe in.

There’s no place for anything to get stuck.

You just open so wide as you breathe in that there’s no place for anything to get stuck.

And then just send that same openness outward.

Send it out to them.



Say this person’s name.

Visualize their face if that helps to make it more real and bring up the feelings more strongly.


When you hear this gong then slowly move back tośamatha vipassana,


Lovingkindness by Tara Brach


We close with a brief prayer of lovkingkindness.

May we embrace our inner life.

May we open to the realness that’s right here.

And belong to our full aliveness.

Our full awake heart.

And may this openness of heart include all beings


May we truly see all beings as part of our heart.

Cherish all beings.

Realize the shared heartspace and awareness that’s our essence.


May there be love and understanding between all beings.

May there be peace.

May there be peace.

May all beings awaken and be free.


Namaste and blessings.

Lovingkindness with Ram Dass


Concentrate on your breath.

…In, Out

…In, Out

Maybe the tip of the nose will be the place where you will do that.

Now keep that concentrated —  concentration.


Bring it to the middle of your heart space.

…And that point is loving awareness.

…And that loving awareness is you.

It’s the real you.


Where you are.




…you can omit

…you can be aware

…of your eyes and what they see

You can be aware of the ears about you..about what they hear.

…what the skin feels.

You can be aware of your mind and your…and the river of thoughts come out of your mind.

…Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.


Some of those thoughts are positive, some are negative.

Some are about you…and about others.

Some of them are judging thoughts.

But you will stay identified with loving awareness in your heart

…in the heart center.


I am loving awareness.

I am loving awareness.

I am loving awareness.


When I am loving when awareness is not a thing.

We can label it but it is not the words.


You are loving awareness

…So is Christ

…So is Krishna

…So is Buddha

…So is  Maharaji

They are loving awareness.

And so are you.


One loving awareness.

One loving awareness.


In each of us is a finger of the hand of loving awareness.

Loving awareness is in everybody.

Everybody is in loving awareness.


Or in disagreement,  in states, that’s the games….that’s the games we play.

Yet we are loving awareness.

We are individuals but we’re not.

We are the whole.

We are all God.

You are an individual and you are part of the whole

loving awareness.


When you finally get to be

be loving awareness,

be loving awareness.




We are all beings together,

one consciousness.

We are a satsang.


We are

we are

those who seek the truth.

…seek the truth

…seek the truth




Lovingkindness with Ram Dass

We are

Immersed in love.

Outside and inside

And you can radiate love and be it, you’re inside.


To all of us

To the planet

To the universe

Every one of us counts

In this effort


The love inside is radiated outside

love yourself

And love universe

The love inside of all of us is love.


We each translated …translate that love

according to our lives

no matter how thick is the filter of your karma

you radiate the the love of the one.


And now let us, a group effort, to love our planet


Now we are…we are love itself.

We are love.

We are loved.

We are love.

We are love.

We are love.


Be love.

Be loved.

Be love.



Equanimity by Joseph Goldstein


This evening we will do the last of the Brahamviarjas.

Is the meditation on equanimity.


Equanimity is that quality of mind of impartiality.


Its far enemy, its opposite, it something that’s quite familiar, the reactive mind.


Equanimity is that quality of mind which receives everything without preference for one or another.

Perhaps best understood in the teachings of the 3rd Zen Patriarch.

Famous lines, “The great way is not difficult for those that have no preferences.”

The mind is that open, that receptive, that impartial.

This tremendous strength, tremendous ease.


Sometimes when we do the equanimity meditation, especially with the particular words that are used in the meditation.

Sometimes people feel as if it’s a quality of puling away from or indifference to what’s happening.

Of course that’s the near enemy of equanimity.



It looks like equanimity but it’s really a quality of pulling back rather than opening to.

So the phrase that’s used in this meditation — and again we’ll start and go through the whole sequence tonight.


We start with a neutral person.

See if you can conjure up a person whose still neutral.

Find someone for whom you have easily, equanimous feelings.

And the lines that are used, the words that are used.


“You are the heir, or the inheritor, of your own actions.”

“Your happiness, or unhappiness, depends on your actions. Not upon my wishes.”


The tone by which we say this is all important.

Because it’s very easy to use these words in a dismissive way.

In a blaming way.

“You are the heirs of your own actions — regardless of what I wish for you.”

So watch for that tones.


Rather than that, the great power of equanimity and the great power of the practice is it brings right into the moment the widom factor.

It’s really seeing things in a very clear way.

“Yes, all beings are the heirs of their own actions.”


We can have loving wishes and compassionate wishes, and wishes of sympathetic joy..

But ultimately people’s happiness will depend on their actions.


And it’s in fact through the wisdom of this equanimity, of seeing this, that we can then feel compassion for people who are doing things —  creating suffering for themselves.

Or feel joy for the people who are creating the conditions for happiness for themselves.

Equanimity is the mind state that actually contains the seeds of all the others.

When we understand it as being expression of the wisdom mind.


Whereas you do the phrases, really hold that understanding in your mind and in your heart.

That it’s really a statement of how things are.

And the more clearly we and all  others realize this,  the more possibilities for happiness there is.



The more possibilities of happiness there are for us.

All beings, ourselves included, are the heirs of our own actions.

Our happiness or unhappiness depends on our actions.

Not simply upon our wishes.

That’s the phrase that we use.



Again, imbue it with wisdom.

Imbue it with that understanding.

Seeing that out of that wisdom, come all the other brahamvijaras.

It’s the foundation for the others.



Sit and call some neutral person to mind, someone you don’t have strong feelings for one way or another.

It could be someone on the retreat, someone you know from outside.

See if you can hold the image or hold the sense of that person.


Repeating the phrases,

“You are the heir of your actions.

Your happiness and unhappiness depends upon on your actions.

Not upon my wishes.”



Keeping the sense of the image of the person as clearly as possible.

Repeating the phrase.

And watching the nuances in your own mind.

Watch the tone.



“You are the heir of your actions.

Your happiness and unhappiness depends upon on your actions.

Not upon my wishes.”


Be concentrated on the meaning of the words and be with them as a gift of wisdom.



See if you can begin to feel that sense of equanimity, evenness.

You are the heirs of your own actions.

Your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions. Not upon my wishes.

A mind that is resting in wisdom.



You have that sense of neither attraction nor indifference.

Just the space of openness of how things are as they are.

You might call to a benefactor.

Repeating the same phrase of understanding.



Keeping the benefactor in mind.

Expressing this gift of wisdom.

Resting in equanimity.



“You are the heirs of your actions.

Your happiness and unhappiness depends upon on your actions.

Not upon my wishes.”



Finding that place of balance between attraction and indifference.

A place of simple openness, of evenness.

Of equanimity.


You can either stay with the benefactor or call a good friend to mind.

Seeing if you can remain in this space of equanimity.


Holding a good friend in the light of wisdom

“You are the heirs of your actions.

Your happiness and unhappiness depends upon on your actions.

Not upon my wishes.”


See if you can offer this gift of wisdom to a person who is difficult.

As you repeat the phrases, that are imbued with wisdom rather than judgement or blame.


See if it’s possible to go a deep and abiding equanimity in regards to one’s own life.

“I am the heir of my own  actions.

My happiness and unhappiness depends upon on my actions.

Not simply upon my wishes.”


Now letting the mind expand and open to include large groups of people.

All women.

All men.

The heirs of their own actions.

Their happiness and unhappiness depends upon their actions. Not upon their wishes.


All awakened beings.

All unawakened beings.

Are the heirs of their actions.

Their happiness and unhappiness depends upon on their actions.

Not upon my wishes.



All devas.

All human beings.

Lower beings.

You are the heirs of your own actions.

Your happiness and unhappiness depends upon on your actions.

Not upon my wishes.



Let the mind open to embrace all beings everywhere.

From that place of impartiality.

The place between attraction and indifference.

Place of openness and equanimity.

All beings are the heirs of their own karma.

Their happiness or unhappiness depends on their actions.

Not upon my wishes.


After every phrase is the gift of wisdom.

No place of impartiality.




We are all heirs of our own actions.

Our happiness and unhappiness depends on our actions.

Not simply upon our wishes.

Notice the quality of mind as you repeat the phrase.

Equanimity is a refined and subtle state.


Often we find our minds caught in one extreme or another.

Likes and dislikes.

Attractions or aversions.

Interesting to really pay attention as you do the phrases.



Simply to watch the nuances

When the mind is moving back into that near enemy of indifference.

If it feels cold, it’s not equanimity.

It’s a not caring.

Or if the mind is getting agitated in some way then it’s certainly not equanimity.



And it’s through practice through the act of repetition.

We really touch the quality of

It’s not leaning towards or leaning away from.

It’s just there.


And in that state, it is imbued with wisdom.

From that place of wisdom all the other brahamaviaras come.

When we have this understanding.

So work with it — especially during this week when we pay attention .

to the subtle mind.



When it’s developed, equanimity has a tremendous power.

Embrace suffering, embrace joy.

Keeping that sense of joy.

Be equanimous.