Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/13/2015

Metta for the Difficult Person

If you’re familiar with the traditional way in which metta bhavana is taught these days (as based on the Visuddhimagga) then you may be familiar with the idea of learning to develop it by using classes of people: oneself, the benefactor, one’s patents, close friends,  neutral people and difficult ones. In the traditional approach that many of us have learned we are asked to move through these classes slowly and not moving on until we have been able to successfully feel goodwill towards each type of person. 

Although I think this recommendation had great merit I have found that,  when pressed for time as I usually am, I rarely make it beyond my circle of friends and family before my half hour rings out. Yes, I do intend to work with metta bhavana in longer sits but it seems to me there is also a place for working with the difficult person when conditions aren’t quote perfect. Apropos of that I decided tonight to spend my evening session primarily devoted to cultivating metta for the person who is giving me the most difficulty at present even though he isn’t here and doesn’t even know what he’s doing (poor guy).

In order to do so I have been relying on some techniques I picked up during my acquaintance with lojong practices and the excellent book A Truthful Heart by Jeffrey Hopkins. I find that by reflecting on the fact that my enemy only wants happiness and does not want to suffer just as I want happiness and not suffering helps to pretty open the doors of my heart. Further, I can reflect that this person has carted for me as a mother, protected me like a father, been a beloved son or daughter and my brother or sister throughout infinite aeons which helps me tap into a feeling of warmth while recognizing how temporary and fragile the current state of affairs is.

Which brings me to my question: how do you parce metta for the difficult person?  How do you open your heart and overcome anger and resentment?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Student Of The Path

Treading The Path To Freedom : Bhikkhu Jayasāra's Dhamma Blog


"How can I be anything other than what I am?" | Monk

Yoga and Meditation techniques

Yoga and meditation techniques is the art of unfolding the mystery of life divinity joy happiness and mindfulness

Alexis Chateau

Activist. Writer. Explorer.

Anti-Fascist News

Taking on Fascism and Racism from the Ground Up.

Neurodivergent Rebel

Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality.

Kannons mercy


Little Green Seedling

Thoughts on veganism, sustainability, spirituality and simple living

Deep Green Magic

Campaigning with the Earth

Between The Pillars

Delving into the Eastern (and Western) Occult

An Accidental Anarchist

Spirituality | Lifestyle | Thought | Wisdom | Parenting | Love

unbolt me

the literary asylum


living life in conscious reality

Meditating Millennial

A Millennial's Journey Into Meditation and Mindfulness

Rise Like A Lotus

From the Mud Comes Beauty

The Cloaked Hedgehog

Dogman & Cryptozoology... and the occasional rant

%d bloggers like this: