Highlighting the deeply penetrating aspects of Metta, Joseph Goldstein explores how love, kindness, Right Thought, desire, gratitude and friendship can revolutionize our lives.
This dharma talk was originally published on Dharma Seed
Right Thought & Loving Kindness
In this Dharma talk from Insight Meditation Society’s Two-Month Retreat on 10/13/2009, Joseph Goldstein sheds light on the topic of love and kindness – bringing metta into this world. To begin, he offers contemplation around the Buddha’s illumination: ‘Whatever we frequently think about and ponder upon becomes the inclination of our minds.’ Building a foundation of Right Thought, Joseph explores motivations of lovingkindness, goodwill, renunciation, and compassion.
“When the Dalai Lama meets you it feels like you are the most important person in the world because the quality of his attention on you in that moment is so complete.” – Joseph Goldstein
For more Joseph Goldstein on Right Thought & Loving Kindness, tune to Ep. 36 of the Insight Hour
Metta & Softness // Love & Desire (16:00)
Reading Buddha’s penetrating words from the Metta Sutta, Joseph invites listeners into an all-encompassing boundless expanse of metta (lovingkindness), described as dwelling in the ‘Sublime Abiding.’ Through this lens, Joseph describes how cultivating metta naturally leads to a softening of mind and heart, a relaxing of reactive judgments, and a natural opening to care, patience, ease, happiness, humor, discerning wisdom, and skillful means. From here, he differentiates love from its near-enemy, desire.
“As the feelings of metta—of care, of love, of friendliness—as they grow in us and become more stable, it softens our minds, it softens our hearts, they become a bit smoother, not so ragged, more gentle, more pliable. And because of this softening, there’s less rush to reactive judgements and comments both about others but also about ourselves.” – Joseph Goldstein.
Nikki Walton &, metta-pioneer, Sharon Salzberg, discuss lovingkindness, on Ep. 20 of New Growth
Friendship & Kindness // Gratitude & Forgivness (35:00)
Reading, the French essayist, Montaigne’s description of a life-long friendship, Joseph highlights the dear, personal, and selfless qualities of truly expressed metta. Exploring how love can sometimes feel difficult to understand and embody due to our heavy cultural conditioning, he offers perspective on the more pragmatic modality of kindness. Guiding the episode home, Joseph advises listeners to relax, feel gratitude, drop grudges, and see the good qualities in others and ourselves.
“If we make it a point, if we make it a practice to really seek out and see the good in each person, then the feeling of metta—of love and kindness—grows very naturally.” – Joseph Goldstein