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Hi, I have been attempting to practice according to this approach for about a month now. I've definitely seen some change in my outlook and a general bouysny in my mood. More outgoing and demonstrative in relationship.

There are however a few niggles, and I wonder if you could provide some feedback or guidance.

  1. The approach claims to be based in suttas, yet I haven't come across a place in suttas where Buddha describes a path of practice of focusing on personalities for a period of time and sticking with a particular person. I believe this is most definitely a vishuddhimagga practice? I find it almost impossible not to do such a practice and not have a degree of tension or craving come in the practice and/or a kind of one pointed type of concentration. I find the practice much easier to connect with when I reframe it as 'wise reflection', in my daily life. I am more concerned here with the citta being benevolent, drawing on sati to monitor degree of Mettā or lack of, and using wholesome reflection to balance and restablish in happiness and joy. Here, the content is free to change from person to person, situation to situation - I'm not concerned to focus on anything in particular, but rather, as V. Vimalaramsi suggests, observe how the mind moves from object to object, (and the quality of the citta).

  2. I don't quite get the spiritual friend part. I pick a person who meets all the criteria (again, from the vishuddhimagga - not same sex, alive, not a friend or family) and sometimes do not connect with the personality. Sometimes I do, and that is beautiful, but at other times, I wonder whether it would be more fruitful to change to anotjer person who is bringing up that feeling of Mettā. When it is said stay with the same person until jhāna, that suggest to me a degree of inflexibility and the kind of one pointed focus that would seem at odds with the whole approach. Can you speak to this?

  3. It is described that 75 percent feeling of Mettā, 20 percent verbal, and 5 percent image. When I practice in this way during formal practice, I often find that I can sit withxa benevolent feeling without having to verbalise or picture anyone in particular. I find myself bringing to mind people (myself, spiritual friend) because I ought to be doing). The 6rs seems adequate to me to establish me in a fundamental, i.e 'root/hetu' condition of benevolence or Mettā. The other steps are feeling superfluous and a little forced.

I apologise if my comments seem long winded. I appreciate any thoughts,reflections, suggestions, musings or other sharing on this.

With Mettā



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