Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mettā Retreat

"By practicing mettā we become better people,"  it might sound like the slogan for the Mettā meditation that was held at Lotus Centre in Prague during the weekend  of 27 and 28th October this year.  A group of us gathered there to spend  time by meditating  and opening our hearts.

The event was held under the auspices of the Czech nun, Venerable Bhikkhuni Visuddhi  who has been living in the Czech Republic for several years  and founded the Karunā Sevena Group.
 At the beginning  we took the refuge vows and the 5 precepts of the Buddha and decided to spend this day by practicing as much virtuous behaviour as possible.

 Venerable Visuddhi‘s Dhamma talk emphasized how the practice of mettā is important for us in our lives. What it offers us and how enormously  it can heal the body and spirit. When Ven.Visuddhi asked us what  mettā means, there  were responses such as:  love, kindness and compassion. It is important to wish good towards all people and animals, regardless  of whether they are bad or good. It is love that does not judge and we are all born with that quality. We can even achieve nibbāna, when we practice mettā because our mind gradually rids itself of all defilements.

What can mettā bring to one‘s daily life? We can sleep better, and we will not suffer from  nightmares and bad things.  And people and animals love us and it improves our kamma.
During the weekend  participants could meet and talk to Venerable Visuddhi about problems they experience in  meditation practice or in personal life. There were also concerned queries directed to Venerable about how to grasp mettā meditation as an object.  This can not be answered, as we usually perceive it as a feeling in the body and it is very individual.  We can fully recognize it in everyday life.

It was truly delightful  that the course was attended by especially many young people... does it mean there is a growing interest in Buddhism amongst young people ?


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