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Guided Metta Body Scan [Audio]

Guided Metta Body Scan, by Mark Nunberg:

Transcript:

As we all know, it’s not uncommon to be tired at the end of the first day of the retreat. So every night, at this time, we’ll take this time to, I think it’s okay to say, play with intention. It really matters how we incline the mind and we don’t have to wait for wholesome, beautiful states of mind to arise. We can know that we exist in a lawful universe, and there are ways to incline the mind. So one of the things that we’ll do at this time every evening is that we’ll chant a, sometimes it’s called ___ with the Divine Abiding. It’s not that the title is on this chant, but sometimes, it’s called that. So, sometimes, people call it the 4 Quarters Chant. And it’s not just about chanting together, but using that experience of chanting to incline the mind.

The mind, it’s like useful view to have it set in the mind in the sense that it’s waiting or ready to incline toward the experience of loving kindness and compassion and appreciative joy or gladness and equanimity. It’s just in a sense of waiting for the appropriate prompt. So when we do the chant together and then the guided loving kindness meditations that we’ll be doing this week. Different types of loving kindness practices. Mostly, what we’re interested in is how this, you know, ray of mental qualities that we’re running about during the day that, it’s a very dynamic thing. We know this right? We can fall into heavy states, and in just a matter of moments, be in a really sublime state of forgiving our self for being in the negative state, and then back to judging our self and then in the heavy state again. So, the mind is very dynamic. And just knowing that about the mind, this makes it interested. So even at the end of the first day of retreat, we often feel a little tired. When we do the chant, if you just have this understanding that the mind is very dynamic, and that beautiful states of mind of loving kindness and compassion, just forgiveness for yourself or whatever it might be, appreciation for the good work of getting yourself here, shining up today, keep shining up moment by moment, can be causes for really beautiful wholesome states. ___.

So let’s do this chant together. And if you haven’t done this style, you’ll notice there’s a little triangle above some syllables and below other syllables. So just go up and down you can just follow my lead with this if you haven’t done it before. It’s the 4 stanzas, basically repeating for each of the four divine abodes of loving kindness, compassion, gladness, appreciative joy, and equanimity.

And once we’re done with the chant, just notice the silence. And then go right, stay in your meditation posture and I’ll get some instructions for the guided meditation, but it’s nice just to settle into the meditation posture all the way through the sit tonight.

So now, let’s make the four boundless quality shine forth.

(chant starts)

I will abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness… Likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth;

So above and below, around and everywhere and to all as to myself.

I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness… abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will

I will abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … Likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth;

So above and below, around and everywhere and to all as to myself.

I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with compassion … abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will

I will abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with gladness … the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth;

So above and below, around and everywhere and to all as to myself.

I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with gladness … abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will

I will abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity … Likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth;

So above and below, around and everywhere and to all as to myself.

I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with equanimity … abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will

(chant ends)

We’re allowing the body to settle. Of course, the mind have has the habits of picking up contents, ___, but the mind also has wholesome habits of letting things settle, putting down the load, allowing things to be. We could call these wholesome habits intentions of enunciation. Keeping things simple comes from so many moments of seeing the mind pickup, and spin, and suffer. So we tune into this wholesome instinct, wholesome habit of letting things settle, letting the muscles of the body release, appreciating the quiet space of the heart and mind.

All the way through this week as we do this loving kindness reflections in the evening, we want to see the arising of this wholesome states as natural occurrences. Not something that I have to do, you have to do. And tonight, we’ll really keep it simple. Bringing the attention to the body, the sitting body. Healing, noticing the movement of sensation, pleasant, and unpleasant, and neutral, and recognizing this capacity to be closed to sensation to be interested as Steve was saying this afternoon, this willingness to feel into the body, this dance of sensation. All of these wholesome factors of awakening of mindfulness, of investigation, of energy, persistence—this can be seen or felt as a kind of love of kindness. The willingness to include the way of the body is now. The willingness to be interested. Not to show up into a superficial way, but to really settle into. Even if it’s unpleasant. To stay, the willingness to stay right in the middle of the body.

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About the Author Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]essExercises.com

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