Resources and Suggestions

What's love got to do with it?

Sangha Night Program

A Challenge for July and August (if you choose to accept ...)

Can we commit to practicing love/metta regularly - with meditation or in other activities - doing something every day that expresses the choice to love?

Valarie Kaur: “imagine a critical mass of people across the nation and the world who are making love a conscious practice - block by block, heart to heart.  What institutions will we build, what stories will we tell, what world will we birth?”

As buddhists we have these amazing practices - what if we all did them regularly for the next couple of months?

Weeks 5: Mokshasi - Love, Impermanence and Surrender

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Weeks 3 and 4: Danadasa

Resources:
A discourse from the Pali Canon on the importance of patience and love even when faced with abuse and criticism. 
4 Noble Truths, 5 Aggregates, 4 latent tendencies ...

Week 2: Padmatara, Love and the Five Hindrances

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Excerpt from the book (read during meditation):
Metta is like the sun at midday in a cloudless sky, illuminating everything equally and providing warmth in all directions. Just as the sun shines on what is high and low, clean and dirty, so metta shines on all, without making distinctions. The sun keeps shining independently of how its rays are received. It does not shine more if people move out into the open to be warmed by its rays, nor does it shine less because people move back indoors.  Similarly, metta does not depend on reciprocation. Its rays of kindness shine on others out of an inner strength that pervades all bodily activities, words, and thoughts, without expecting a return. From the center of one’s heart metta shines its rays on anyone encountered, just as the sun shines in all directions from its position in the midst of the sky.
Compassion is like the sun just before sunset. Darkness is close, almost palpably close, yet the sun keeps shining. In fact it shines all the more brilliantly, beautifully coloring the sky at sunset. Similarly, when face to face with suffering and affliction, the attitude of compassion shines even more brilliantly, undeterred by the darkness.
Sympathetic joy is like the sunrise in the early morning. The birds are singing merrily, the air is fresh, and the surroundings are illuminated by the rising sun and appear as if pervaded by joyful delight. At times the rays of the sun touch a dewdrop on a flower or tree and break into a myriad of colors. In the same way the joy of others can become a source of a myriad of joyful rejoicings within oneself.
Equanimity is like the full moon on a cloudless night. Just as the sun and moon are both up in the vast sky, in the same way the four brahmaviharas share with each other the boundless nature of a mind that has become vast like the sky. The moon is not itself a source of sunlight, unlike the sun. So too, equanimity isn’t actively involved with others the way the other three b.h.s are. At the same time, however the moon does reflect the light of the sun, just as equanimity reflects within itself the positive disposition of the other divine abodes.
 

 

Week 1: Padmatara, Defining Love

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Provisional definitions

Love is a courageous choice we make over and over to act for our own or another’s spiritual progress. It’s fierce, bloody, imperfect, life-giving, and has the taste of freedom.

Choosing love relies on our capacity to empathize with ourselves and others, to see all of us as feeling beings inextricably connected, not separate. Practice disrupts, embraces and dissolves the habits that seem to get in the way.

Suggestion
Try on these definitions, practice with them, put them in your own words.