Tagged: Sharon Salzberg

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.

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“How Sharon Salzberg Found Real Happiness” from Lion’s Roar

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Sharon Salzberg knows suffering. At age nine, she was dressed in her Halloween ballerina costume, watching Nat King Cole on television, when something went horribly wrong. Her mother started bleeding violently and was whisked away amid the panic of flashing ambulance lights. That was the last time Salzberg saw her mother, who died two weeks later.

Salzberg was sent to live with her grandparents, and when she was eleven her estranged father appeared—a troubled, dishevelled stranger who told her, “You have to be tough to survive life.” Six weeks later, he overdosed on sleeping pills, and for the second time, Salzberg watched her parent being rushed away by ambulance. Her father was never to function outside of the mental health system again.

The adults in her life never talked about loss or grief, and Salzberg learned that silence meant safety. Little did Salzberg know that someday, plunging into the heart of her suffering would be her greatest teacher—and make her the renowned Buddhist teacher she is today.

— Lindsay Kyte in Lion’s Roar