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Birthing the Heart: Perceptions from Love

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2015-01-20
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



The practice of metta is not the state of metta. Metta is unconditional love and the practice of metta attempts to nudge the mind in the direction of unconditioned love by showing how the opinions we hold of ourselves and each other create separation and distance. It is our perceptions that need to be changed and the key to doing that is questioning deeply the opinions we hold. We think our opinions are the truth, and we can be very reluctant to change them. But opinions are just circumstantial emotions that have been conditioned onto a person, place, or thing. To live under the influence of our opinions is to live enslaved to our thoughts and feelings. Opinions can and do change but they need our intention to look from a different perspective. That is what metta practice attempts to do. It works because we begin to appreciate the state of connected love we fall into when we release our opinions, but our convictions come back very quickly if we have not explored the false nature of all assumptions.


Work with the practice of metta as a way of changing your perceptions so you no longer see through your opinions. As you work from self, to benefactor, to friend, neutral person and difficult person, actually spend time questioning the opinions you hold within each category. For example your perceptions of yourself have been hardened by all the experiences you have had that have led to conclusions and assumptions about your worth. What would you be like if you released those assumptions and simply did not conclude? Try on this new perception of an unfixed sense of yourself. Be very watchful of how the old conditioned beliefs resurface. When they do, pause, drop your opinions, and start fresh.


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