So, how was your metta practice?

Was it easier to do compared to breathing? Is there anything anyone wants to share? Or any questions?

How was you meditation [asking a meditator].

[Another meditator] I find the metta meditation more difficult to focus.

[A different meditator] When I lost focus on the metta I focused on my breathing and got back on track. And then, you were there. [laughing].

[A different meditator] I could visualize some people whose [inaudible]

Simply think how much we do separate ourselves from other living beings. Yet, all the living beings are just like you and me. When you think about your family you have family gatherings. But, you can see all the different kind of people in the family. They do different jobs and even different their thinking is very unique onto each and everybody. Skills are different.

You can go abroad, you can see that is what you see all around the world. But, if you come back to each person, each person is individually just like you. Just like us. They all want to be happy.

Most of us today have pets. With new technology and new studies, people have different kinds of pets today. In the past only cats, dogs, and maybe fish. But, today you can see that people have spiders [laughing], snakes, and so many different kinds of animals as pets. Recently I saw somebody was having a bear as a pet. I’m sure not in Minnesota. Ha ha. But when you have a pet, what happens? You make a strong relationship between this pet and you. And also, we have seen stories of unusual relationship between animals. So, what is behind it? They are going beyond the physical body.

When you talk about friendship when you call family. There we are not talking about the connection in the physical body. It is the connection made in the mind. A strong bond happens.

Think about any relationship between two people. It is not about the physical connection. It is about the bond they are making in their mind. Relationships between parents and kids. Between grandparents and grand kids. It is about the connection in their mind. With that connection we are willing to let go certain things that you have. Sometimes you are generous. You are comfortably generous with one person.

But with another person, or when you don’t see the connection, maybe you don’t see that same generosity in your mind. Just think, what is behind it? It is about the bond in your mind. Or the interest in your mind. But that is not about this unconditional friendliness. When you come to realize the value of or the power of unconditional friendliness, you will have it but that comes with a freedom. There is no way you can get hurt with unconditional friendliness. But, when it comes with conditions, that is what happens inside the family. There are certain conditions inside the family. You are helping a family member when they are not doing as you are expecting what will happen, you will get hurt. It will bring sadness or unsatisfaction into your heart.

But, if we can share our friendliness or generosity without any conditions, we always win. Because that person’s actions will not hurt you. By the time you are practicing your generosity or friendliness, at that time you are experiencing the result of it. That makes you rich.

So, the mindful person is trying to generate and cultivate this same practice with all living beings. When you become that person, you will not harm any living being. No matter what happens. You will not choose yourself over any other living being. Because you will see all living beings as your family, as your kids. The way you are treating your kids, you will treat all living beings equally. By knowing the value of that friendliness. The value of that sharing. So that makes you relaxed and happy.

As some of you mentioned, this can be a difficult meditation practice. The reason is, we used to calm ourselves with the practice. Just observing the thoughts. But here, you are using your mind. You are continuously giving something to think. That is why this is a different type of mind workout. You let your mind work. So this is not a relaxing practice. But, once we get comfortable, what happens? You will get used to these thoughts. You will get used to these intentions. That will become who you are.

So, meditators, time to time, bring this kind of practices to shape their mind.

Any questions or thoughts? Any questions or thoughts?

[A meditator asks] When a person gets into thinking about a person that triggers anger or frustration, how would you recommend dealing with that? You don’t want to water that seed. Your question is in case someone didn’t hear it.

The question is, when somebody happens to see this anger or frustration arising from a certain person, what do you do?

There, you will see, with mindfulness, you will recognize it. With mindfulness you will recognize what is happening in your mind. At the beginning of meditation today I mentioned the words of the farmer. When a farmer recognizes the weeds come, weeds begin to grow, what does the farmer do? The farmer recognizes it, and removes them. Either by starting to weeding or starting to treat the entire farm by removing what is not good. The farmer would not treat weeds the same way that the farmer treats his own plants. So, in the same way we need to weed our self. And, not support it to grow. What do we do really. We need to recognize it. If it is very difficult you can think, “If this person could think as I do, this person would not act in that way. Therefore, I should forgive this person.”

Even though it is very difficult even if you are thinking that way, you can think, “Well, we are all dying.” Therefore, this person is also dying. Why do I maintain this anger? Or this frustration? Or,

I heard somebody saying, “Even though this person is living in a big old body, this person is thinking like a child.” A childish mind. So, when you bring that kind of thought what happens? You anger and frustration just goes down. By knowing a childlike person living in a grownup body.

So, at the beginning you are really finding an anecdote for your own poison poisoning in yourself. Otherwise, what happens? Those things are poisoning you. Anger is happening inside of you. Not on the outside. It is damaging you. It is harming yourself. So, I hope I answered your question.

Okay, it looks like everybody had a good meditation. today and therefore we can stop it for today. It is very good to see all of you and have a wonderful week. Enjoy the beautiful fall. Thank you very much.