This course explores the practice and contexts of loving- kindness in various Buddhist traditions, and the possible different roles and applications for individuals and communities. Though focusing on historic development and theoretical analysis, this course will be based on the practice itself, mostly with the methods seen in the Theravāda tradition and Pāli literature: texts such as the Discourse on Loving Kindness (Mettā Sutta), and other selected passages from the Pāli Canon and main commentaries on the topic of the "sublime abidings" (brahmavihāras). Discussion will also include references to various practices of loving-kindness in other South Asian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Some aspect of loving kindness seen in Judeo-Christian lineages will also be considered. The course will combine textual discussions with contemplative practice to get a fuller sense of this core teaching of the Buddha.
To explore the practice of loving-kindness (mettā) as presented in the Pāli Canon; provide a theoretical understanding that will support a fruitful engagement with this particular practice; understand its articulation with the fundamental Buddhist notions of impermanence (annicā) and selflessness (anattā); develop meditative skills to generate loving-kindness and to maintain this state of mind in our daily life.
Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:
Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning.
Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.