Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta

Bhante Gunaratana. Wisdom, $16.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-61429-249-4
In lucid, accessible prose, Gunaratana (Mindfulness in Plain English) introduces readers to the practice of metta, or loving-kindness meditation. He characterizes loving-kindness as an unconditional love towards the self, others, and the world that possesses no ulterior motive, helping practitioners and the objects of their meditations “swallow the bitterness of life.” For Gunaratana, to do metta practice is to express one’s true nature and to acknowledge the impermanence and interconnectedness of all phenomena. He stresses that metta practice is an individual (rather than collective) practice that is not about saving the world but rather about creating peace and well-being for the self. Far from presenting loving-kindness meditation as a practice of selfish concern, he shows that by practicing loving-kindness toward the self and achieving a state of clarity and rest, one can properly attend to friends, strangers, and enemies. Mindfulness practice is not enough by itself, he says; it requires the self-love and other-concern of loving-kindness meditation to fully expand one’s range of compassion. Gunaratana’s newest is a clear and excellent introduction and should be considered a standard manual for metta practice. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017
Release date: 03/14/2017
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-61429-264-7
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