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Two wings of spiritual practice

nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

My old lama used to say that there are two wings of spiritual practice; wisdom and compassion. For the past several years I've been fostering compassion and empathy, through meditation and real world practice (mostly through the emotional support of others.) This practice is very rewarding and feels 'good', so it's easy to keep coming back to it. But a couple of years ago, I realized that I had lost a lot of my self-contempt, and my natural enthusiasm for metta bhavana waned.

Which brings me back to wisdom and mindfulness. Metta bhavana practice made me feel good and met some emotional needs, so it was easy to come back to. Anapanasati just doesn't have the same direct benefits for me that metta bhavana did, so it makes it hard to cultivate the practice. What suggestions do other practitioners here have for cultivating mindfulness and other aspects of wisdom, as well as improving my motivation to come back to it?

BuddhalotusKeromeZazen1person

Comments

  • What suggestions do other practitioners here have for cultivating mindfulness and other aspects of wisdom, as well as improving my motivation to come back to it?

    Practice concentration and a magickal form of Buddhism. This will change you physically, psychically and improve your environment.
    The most widely known is Tantra.
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/vajradhara-and-84-mahasiddhas.html

    However ... Rasaayana (Ocean of Wisdom)
    belongs to the alchemy tradition in every stupa design and is an elemental meditation/concentration
    http://www.kamalashila.co.uk/styled-45/styled-6/

    Buddhalotusnakazcid
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I think the results of insight practice are of a different emotional tone. Metta is like the warmth of a fire, insight has a more placid, calm tone. So the benefits in life are more about keeping your cool and handling the ups and downs less reactively. And I think gaining and maintaining the equivalent emotional effects of peace that can come from insight practice are much harder for us in the modern, busy world than metta, partly due to the nature of the world and partly because it isn't as relatable to us.

    nakazcidBuddhalotus
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I took few minutes this evening to meditate. I started with what I believe is termed "non-directional" meditation to help settle my mind a bit. After a few minutes, I shifted to meditation on the breath. My concentration was scattershot, but I was surprised by how bloody good it felt. I'm not sure why, but it felt very peaceful even though my monkey mind was still chasing bananas through the jungle.

    I'm hoping this good feeling will make it easier to sustain a consistent practice.

    Thanks for all the thoughts...

    lobsterBuddhalotusKerome
  • My concentration was scattershot, but I was surprised by how bloody good it felt. I'm not sure why, but it felt very peaceful even though my monkey mind was still chasing bananas through the jungle.

    Tee Hee! What a great description of meditation ...
    Peaceful monkey-mind banana chasing through 'the jungle'.

    I'll join ...

    Buddhalotusnakazcid
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    On days when I feel lazy to do my meditation session, I remind myself of how good I feel after doing it.

    Feeling good and getting those endorphins running is a good motivation to keep up our meditation practice but it should not be the only one.

    We are too used to looking for the gain or the benefit behind everything we do.
    In the case of meditation, there is a reason that meditation is integrated in the Noble Eightfold Path: in a mind that is stilled, skillful thoughts and actions ripe more naturally.

    It is us who add nuances and descriptors to our practice, who think that this session is boring or stimulating.
    The session is always the same.

    nakazcid
  • Dear friends of the three winged Gararuda,

    I have dedicated your life to well being, lack of ignorance, improvement of mind, bodhi and spirit (whoever she is) ...
    Of course I should be committed myself but where is the fun in that?

    Practice. You can. One day you might can-can on the far shore for sure ...

    May Allah the Buddhas protect us ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited December 2018

    @nakazcid said:
    I'm hoping this good feeling will make it easier to sustain a consistent practice.

    Consistency in practice requires a certain mindset... I have to admit I’m very bad at this, I tend to meditate maybe one day in two, so I admire anyone who sets out to truly make themselves do it consistently. I’m more of the type that whenever I remember to do it, I immediately take ten minutes stretched out on the couch.

    Certainly good feelings will make it easier, but remember, in the end it is neither good nor bad :)

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