Breaking Down the Barriers
Welcome to Breaking Down the Barriers!
We have now developed successfully our Metta/Lovingkindness on one person who we respect and like, and that is our Spiritual Friend. Next step is we start to expand our circle of Friends to eventually cover all beings, whether we know them or like them or not.
You now get to change your practice--These are the instructions-- and it shouldn't take more than a sitting or two. After you feel you are finished you need you to reply back and be ready for the next step. We will then give you Advanced Practice Step #2 in the meditation and this will be done for the remainder of your retreat.
In a sitting or two…
Pick 3 more spiritual friends and send Metta to them one at a time until you see them smiling in your mind.
Pick 4 family members and do the same thing - any gender now.
Pick 4 neutral people - bus driver, cashier you saw at Starbucks or whatever. People you may have said hello to. Do the same thing.
Then send Metta to any "enemies" or people you feel a grudge toward in some way. As many that come up: see them at least smile back. Send your loving-kindness to them until you feel comfortable that you can at least be civil with them if they were there. They should give you a smile back.
When you see each one smile then move to the next one. Do it rather quickly. Do not try to hold all of them in your mind at once. Just see them smile and go on to the next person in the group you are working on.
If you have trouble with a group above, like enemies, then go backwards to the neutral group and do some more of them to build back up your Metta and THEN go back to the enemies and continue until you see they are smiling. So if you don't feel good at what you are doing just go back one group and do them until you gain that happy feeling and see them smiling.
This is 'Breaking Down the Barriers'
Now the energy is up in your head and that's where it will naturally go from here on out. If it goes back into the heart area that's ok. But never push it back down. It gradually moves back up on its own as your practice intensifies. You will start to radiate that feeling out to all the directions in the next step, but first let's get this one done!
Again, this shouldn't take more than a few sittings - when this is complete then continue your practice by going Here