Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 158 – Generosity of the Heart

Joseph Goldstein covers the basics of metta, which he calls the generosity of the heart, and shares ways we can cultivate deeper feelings of loving-kindness in our practice.

This dharma talk from February 6, 1999, was originally published on Dharma Seed.

“Metta, as most of you are familiar, is a word from the Pali language, the language of the Buddha’s time, and it means loving-kindness or friendliness. And it refers to that basic quality or that basic feeling of generosity of the heart. It’s an expression of the generous heart that is simply wishing well, simply wishing or expressing goodwill to ourselves and others.” – Joseph Goldstein

In this episode, Joseph shares his insight on:

  • The basics of metta, or loving-kindness, and how it refers to the feeling of the generosity of the heart
  • How metta can become the ground for wisdom to grow
  • The difference between metta and desire, and why those two feelings are often confused for one another
  • Different ways we can nurture our practice and cultivate deeper feelings of metta, including reflecting on forgiveness and gratitude 
Alan Watts explores desire in Being in the Way Ep. 10

About Joseph Goldstein:

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and loving-kindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Listen to more from Joseph:

In the search for liberation, we must explore the nature of our existence. Joseph investigates the wisdom of impermanence in Insight Hour Ep. 2.
There are deeper levels of truth about reality. Joseph explores different ways of freeing the mind by understanding the habits of preference and the emptiness of thoughts in Insight Hour Ep. 41.
There are many nuances to the concept of Right Effort. Joseph explains how that effort can help us build real momentum in our spiritual practice in Insight Hour Ep. 83.
It’s possible to smile at the antics of one’s own mind. Joseph offers responses to questions about selflessness, shame, cravings, and more in Insight Hour Ep. 111.
Metta practice can penetrate deeply. Joseph explores how love, kindness, gratitude, and friendship can revolutionize our lives in Insight Hour Ep. 117.

Photo via CameraCraft