Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reflections on "Developing Metta" talk by Ven. Bodhicitta

Last Saturday, I was really grateful to be in the presence of a really happy, calm and peaceful Venerable Bodhicitta and surrounded my spiritual friends. Venerable Bodhicitta came down to our temple to share about Developing Metta immediately after she touched down in Singapore from Sri Lanka. Her peaceful and selfless self changed the entire atmosphere of our temple and it really calmed everyone down; from their busy work schedules, camp meetings, exams etc. 

Venerable Bodhicitta and the youths!

A few pointers she shared was that:
1. Selfishness (only caring about ourselves) leads to ignorance towards others (insensitivity)
2. Ignorance will lead to the 3 poisons (Greed, Hatred & Delusion) and will eventually lead to Dukkha.
3. Loving Kindness is the state of mind, resonating with others. 
4. One way to develop Metta is through Metta Meditation, cultivating a more mindful attitude towards ourselves and others.
One of the stories that I found really meaningful was the spoon story. Two separate tables filled with people who have long wooden sticks attached along their arm and a spoon at the end for them to hold (In a way that they cannot bend their arms). & the task was to eat food, on the table, with these restrictions. Whilst people on one table was struggling to feed themselves without bending their elbows, the people from the other table were feeding each other. 

This story made me realize that sometimes, it doesn't hurt to help others because when you help others, you help yourself too. This story also shows an aspect of selflessness - in a sense that you help others eat first before thinking about feeding yourself.

Simple actions like ignorance and selfishness leads to Ignorance and the 3 Poisons. Although these actions may arise when we are too caught up in something, I personally have been learning to take a second to pause, think and process my feelings, something like; "is this worth my effort to feel angry", "if i feel angry now, how long more will i be dragged down by this unhappiness" or "are we suppose to feel sad that things change? If I feel sad about it, does it mean I was unconsciously expecting something?" etc etc. 
These questions make me think more and emotionally and mentally, makes me think thrice about my actions and how they affect me and the people around me. 
I really enjoyed this talk and Im rly glad I got the chance to hear her views on Developing Metta and how everything is interlinked with each other although we talk about these topics as separate subjects. Thank you SBMY for organizing this!

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