INSPIRATIONS FOR YOUR ASPIRATIONS : READINGS TO SUPPORT METTA
I have set up a google drive folder with the readings listed below. They are available for you to explore at your leisure. I have listed them in the order I recommend approaching them.
1. Ajahn Brahm's short humorous take on how to make friends with meditation practice. Excerpted from Don't Worry, Be Happy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment. Wisdom Publications, 2014.
THIS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING in conjunction with the idea we worked on in session one of metta as friendliness.
2. Jack Kornfield Metta Phrases. Excerpt from Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are, Shambala, 2011
This is a short and concise introduction to working with the classic metta phrases.
3. The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness. Excerpted from In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Edited and Introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Wisdom Publications 2005
There are three short pieces here, each from different places in the canon on the goodness and benefit of the development of lovingkindness. I highly recommend reading, for the poetry of the Buddha's words and for the great inspiration.
4. Ajahn Brahm on the true meaning of Love in Lovingkindness. Excerpted from Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung: Inspiring Stories for welcoming Life's Difficulties. Wisdom Publications, 2005.
Again, I highly recommend Ajahn Brahm, he is gifted at presenting the dharma with humor and tenderness.
5. Jack Kornfield on our innate nobility. Excerpted from The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology. Bantham Books, 2008.
Jack is my teachers' teacher (my main dharma teachers Katchie Ananda, Eugene Cash and Pamela Weiss were all trained by Jack, so I have naturally gravitated to Jack's work). I have read many of his books, recommend them all, but this gives a good introduction to his style and tone and is directly relevant to our metta practice which is inclining the mind to re-connect with this natural goodness innate in all human beings.
6. Sharon Salzberg introducing the Brahma Viharas. Excerpted from Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Shambala, 1995.
Sharon is affectionately known as the Queen of Metta. This book really is a gem and for anyone who is drawn to the metta practice and wishes to have a systematic program for deeply cultivating all aspects of the practice, this book is a perfect place to start. It is wise and comprehensive while also being easy to read and deeply human, full of stories from sharon's own life and experience. This introduction gives you just a flavor--I hope you'll pursue more from Sharon on your own.