During the winter and spring of 2016, Deborah will be offering a series of classes on the states of mind called the brahma viharas, or heavenly abodes. These are loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). The Buddha said that when the heart is full of these beautiful and wholesome emotions, it is as if we were living in heaven already.
Deborah will share a variety of teachings on the brahma viharas, instructions for the traditional meditation on each of them, and suggestions for bringing them into daily life. These practices can bring myriad benefits, enrich our everyday life and relationships, transform our inner environment, deepen our understanding and help us along our path towards greater peace and freedom. Often, if we feel stuck or stagnant in our mindfulness practice, a period of exploring the brahma viharas can help move us to a new place.
There is no registration, you may drop in to any of the classes or attend all as a series. The basic meditation instructions will be offered at each class.
The material in the series will roughly parallel that in Sharon Salzberg's wonderful book Lovingkindness, which may be used as a companion text for the classes.
Each class will include a short, easy to learn chant of the Metta Sutta, developed at the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England. A chant sheet and audio recording are available if you would like to chant at home. Up and down arrows indicate a change up or down in pitch, and underlined syllables are held slightly longer.A 45 minute talk that introduces the basic instructions for metta meditation and ends with a guided meditation can be found here.