31 aug 2022
Lovingkindness (or Mettabhavana), is an ancient Buddhist meditation leading to the development of unconditional lovingkindness and friendliness. Metta is something you feel in your heart, a positive emotional state towards others as well as ourselves.
Benefits of Lovingkindness
Metta practice helps us to:
- Bring harmony into our lives and into our relationships
- Rid ourselves of internal and external conflicts
- Overcome lacerating guilt
- Be open to loving acceptance of ourselves and others
- Deepen our connections with all beings
As a result of practicing metta we become more empathetic, more considerate, more kind, more forgiving, and in general, more loving, friendly people.
Who Can Practice Lovingkindness/Metta?
Although it is a Buddhist practice, Lovingkindness Meditation is appropriate for anyone of any belief who wishes to bring more harmony, love, kindness, and friendliness into their life.
About the Course
Twice each year, the Vermont Zen Center offers a six-week course in the practice of Lovingkindness Meditation. The course is limited to 20 participants and fills quickly. So it's a good idea to sign up early.
The course meets on Wednesday evenings at the Zen Center from 7 to 8 p.m. Please note that the first class is longer, ending at 8:30 p.m. We expect to be able to offer the class for both in-person attendance (for those living in the area who are both vaccinated and boosted) and via Zoom. Please note that depending on the state of the pandemic in Vermont, masks may be required.
Each session includes lectures, meditation instruction, practice periods and discussion. Because the initial class of the six-week series is essential to the course, registration is closed after the first class.
Instructors—Nowa Crosby and Heather Kelman
Nōwa was born in Elizabeth City, NC. His father was in the USMC and he grew up in North and South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, California and Virginia. Nōwa began playing music at the age of five and at 20 studied the building and repairing of string instruments. Nōwa joined the Zen Center in 1994 and was ordained a Zen priest in September 2009. He is also a hospital chaplain.
Heather was born in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. She studied English Literature at York University in Toronto. In 1998, she met a student of Roshi Graef's who referred her to the Toronto Zen Centre and she immediately began practicing. She and her husband were married at the Vermont Zen Center and moved to Vermont in 2006 to live near the Center. Heather became a lay ordained Zen priest in 2014.