Monday, January 12
Not quite an hour and a half of metta bhavana. Metta flowing strongly, but attention scattered. Little samadhi, but even so, the metta feels good, and is relatively free of the stronger manifestations of the hindrances, and keeps me safe from the dangers I encountered on Saturday, a very bad day indeed.
The thing now is to keep it going, to keep it flowing. Having seen the danger in hatred (especially self-loathing) there's a VERY strong motivation to maintain this mindfulness throughout the day. It's like being told, "This is your one and only chance of avoiding the tortures of the damned. So what are you going to do?"
Last night, I was reading Ven. Pannyavaro's teaching on Loving-Kindness Meditation on Buddhanet, and came across a resonant passage about "re-conditioning the mind." Chris said something very similar recently, in the context of changing what I tell myself. Let's see if I can find the apposite passage.
from "Overview of Loving-kindness Meditation"
[after discussing the five factors of the first jhana and how each of those five counteracts one of the five hindrances, the venerable writes:]
The benefit of achieving deep concentration with this positive mind set is that it will tend to imprint the new positive conditioning while overriding the old negative patterns. In this way, old negative habits are changed, thereby freeing one to form new, positive ways of relating.