You are warmly welcomed to drop in to the Loving-kindness meditation group I lead at 8 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays via zoom. (Meeting ID 757 3573 4442 - or go to benesserefresno.com & click the link in the class schedule). It is free and totally appropriate for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners.
We meet for a half hour, regularly, to cultivate the capacity we have to meet each person with equally positive intentions, regardless of the person or situation.
Why practice metta?
Cultivating Loving Kindness, or metta in Pali, is a way we can increase our heart's capacity for compassion- to recognize our shared humanity; to wish people well, with sincerity in our hearts: I want you to be safe and protected; to be happy and healthy; to live in peace and ease.
In this way we are deliberately choosing our orientation to each person we encounter.
Setting this intention is powerful- and an act of resistance to systems that would stratify and pit us against each other, relying on the unskillful human habits of divisiveness, establishing in/out groups, vilifying "others". We can choose not to engage with that destructive mindset.
As we center our attitudes and actions to arise out of loving kindness, we affirm:
May you be safe and protected (& if you are not, I will do what is within my power to make it so).
May you be happy and healthy (& if you are not, I will work within my sphere of influence for equity in healthcare, access to mental health and wellness services, & to improve social conditions).
May you live in peace and ease (& if you cannot, I will help identify and dismantle systems of oppression that prevent you from living a life where your spirit is given the space and freedom to thrive, where the demands of meeting your daily needs do not exceed your capacity, so that we may all share in a feeling of ease when our needs are met).
This is why we practice metta, and this is why the practice is just the first step- a basic intention setting that orients our moral compass to the starting point from which we interact with humanity and the world.
We need you and your firm intentions to make this world a loving and just place. We need you to take the actions you are able, within your sphere. We need you to affirm the worth and dignity of each person.
You are invited to practice with us three times a week, and hopefully to build your own practice.
May it be so.