Context: Throughout this transcript, Bhante Vimalaramsi is the speaker unless otherwise indicated.

I've been traveling quite a bit lately

so I'm gonna give you the instructions

for the loving-kindness meditation these

are going to be the beginner

instructions if you've already practiced

this before with me and you're doing the

six directions don't pay attention to

this first part you don't need to go

back and go to a spiritual friend and

all of that

when you practice loving-kindness

meditation you first start by sending

loving and kind thoughts to yourself

you remember a time when you were happy

before we start there's two postures

please do not use one of them is

crossing your legs and the other one is

crossing your arms

I just got back from India and that was

in the end Sri Lanka they really like to

walk around with their arms crossed and

the reason that I say don't do it is

because that is a thinking posture it's

not a listening posture so remember a

time when you were happy when that happy

feeling arises it's a warm glowing

feeling in the center of your chest as

soon as that feeling arises then you

make a wish for your own happiness you

need to feel that wish it's not just

reciting that wish over and over and

over again you mean to feel what it

likes what it's like to be happy you

know what it's like to be peaceful and

calm you know what it's like to be

cheerful or joyful bring that feeling

put that feeling in your heart and stay

with that feeling for as long as you can

now the thing with this meditation is

your mind is going to get distracted

very easily you'll start thinking about

other things as soon as you begin to

start thinking about other things then

please start practicing right effort


right Everett is what what I've been

calling them the six R's recognize when

your mind is distracted release the

distraction without aiming your

attention on it relax the tightness come

in your head in your mind caused by that


Riis mile this is a smiling meditation

return to your object to meditation that

is to yourself and the feeling of

loving-kindness and the wish and repeat

staying with that your mind is going to

get distracted it doesn't matter how

many times your mind is distracted what

matters is that you use the six R's and

gently come back to your object of

meditation so if your mind goes away

twenty-five times and twenty-five times

in that sitting you see it you release

it you relax

you re smile you return to your object

to meditation and continue on that is a

good City

after about ten minutes excuse me after

about ten minutes then you begin to send

loving and kind thoughts to a spiritual

friend a spiritual friend is someone of

the same sex they are alive not a member

of your family the spiritual friend is

someone with youth when you think of

them you have a lot of respect for that

person you sincerely do wish them well

one of the important things that you

need to remember about this practice is


this is a feeling meditation it's not a

mental gymnastics kind of meditation the

more you smile the easier it is to stay

with your object of meditation to stay

with your spiritual friend the more that

you smile the sharper your mindfulness

becomes mindfulness is remembering to

observe how mind's attention moves from

one thing to another

so it's a real important thing to say

with your spiritual friend for as long

as you can while you are smiling smiling

helps your mind to be light and you

become much more observant when you're


if a sensation arises in your body and

it pulls your attention to it like a

pain the first thing you need to do is

recognize that your attention has been

pulled to that allow that pain to be

there without getting involved in your

thoughts about it

meditation pain can arise anywhere in

your body


meditation pain is caused by breaking a

precept now the importance of the

precepts can't be overstated they are

the foundation of the practice and I

know when I came back from Asia after 12

years of being there I was hearing the

things like well it's only breaking it I

only could say a little white lie oh I'm

tired of hearing about keeping the

precepts every time you break a precept

your meditation is going to run into

problems that means using foul language

that means saying something that's not


that means gossip so please be careful

with this kind of thing you're causing

yourself a lot of problems if you break

a precept I'm gonna see everybody

everyday for the retreat you need to be

very honest with me

if I ask you a question and it makes you

feel a little uncomfortable I still want

an honest answer okay and it is

important the first day of the retreat

is going to be the hardest as your mind

is still floating around out there and

you're probably gonna have some sloth

and torpor arrives sleepiness dullness

sit where there is a lot of light but

not in a direct sunlight

sit with your back nice and straight

almost to the point that it hurts be

that straight because when you start

slumping a little bit you'll catch it

more easily than you can straighten up

and come back to your object of

meditation the reason that a sloth and

torpor arises is you're getting you're

losing your mindfulness and you're

losing your interest and staying with

your friend and your mind starts to get

a bit dreamy and then it gets real

dreamy and then your back starts

slumping and your head starts bobbing so

a sitting straighter helps you catch

that more quickly you need to pick up

your energy a little bit more and when

you're doing the walking meditation

wherever you're walking walk for 30 or

40 feet however far you're walking don't

turn around and come back walk backwards

but stay with your spiritual friend

while you're walking backwards

well when a pain arises the first thing

that your mind does is start complaining

to you about it I hate this feeling when

I wish it would stop why doesn't it go

away every thought about that pain makes

the pain bigger and more intense so the

first thing you do is release relax

don't get involved in the thoughts don't

get involved in the story of it allow it

to be there by itself this is with an

itch it's with a sneeze is with a cough

everything if you have to cough let it

let your body be on automatic don't try

to force yourself not to cough the whole

point of this meditation is learning how

to soften your mind drops is a very good

acronym don't resist or push soften your

mind and smile


now after you let that feeling be there

you'll notice that there's a tight

mental fist wrapped around that feeling

that tight mental fist is a version I

don't like that feeling I don't want it

to be there but the truth is when a

painful feeling arises it's there that's

the truth anytime you try to fight with

the truth anytime you try to change the

truth any trying time you try to make

the truth be the way you want it to be

that is the cause of suffering so allow

it to be there by itself

yes it's painful sometimes it could be

quite painful I don't care let it be

there let go of your stories about oh it

hurt so much I wanted to stop I can't

stand it and you turn it into an

emergency and then you have to get up

and start walking so you brake your city

I want you to sit no less than 30

minutes and when you're sitting is good

sit longer okay

before long he'll start sitting for an

hour hour and a half two hours three

hours four hours sometimes even five

hours and that's okay when you're not

trying to force yourself and make it

happen this will happen naturally it'll

feel too good to be sitting you feel

just great you don't want to break a

city I don't want a bunch of Pavlov's

dogs here when you hear a bell that

means it's time to eat and I'm gonna

break my sitting because of that

no don't we'll make sure you get your

food don't worry don't break your break

a good sitting just for food so this is

kind of important don't don't be

attached to bells and sounds


so the more relaxed you are the more you

allow things to be as they are the more

you smile into what you're doing while

you're doing it the faster your progress

is going to become now one of the things

has been happening lately at some of the

retreats as some people have already

been doing in one form or another

meditation and they'll start to go very

deep in the meditation and they done

they can't tell whether they're there

mine is one pointed concentration or not

they can't tell so they keep asking and

what if what what am I supposed to do

with that six are even though you don't

need to use six are and you'll see

whether you have absorption

concentration or just stillness of mind

there is a difference and it's a big

difference so if you use the six R's and

relax you're letting go of any slight

attachment you might be having the thing

with one pointed concentration is there

is still craving while you're doing that


and the force of the concentration will


rinses from arising so when you 6r

you're finding out whether that's one

pointed that concentration that has some

craving in it or you'll find out it's

not there either way is good

don't have any expectations of what you

want this retreat to be I want to be

able to do this or that

no that's one of the things that will

actually cause you a lot of suffering

and you're not going to attain what your

expectation is anyway so don't expect

anything to happen remember and tell

yourself I don't know what's gonna

happen next whatever is gonna happen is


my job as a meditator is only to observe

so you're letting go of any longing for

some kind of special state to come up

and that sort of thing generally what

happens when when somebody starts

longing for something they start pushing

and then the more energy that they put

into it and then their mind is very very

restless and then you put more energy

into it to stop the restlessness and

that's exactly the opposite of what you

need to be doing you need to be backing

off and relaxing bring up a feeling of

tranquility if you have restlessness

filled tranquil that will help overcome


before you go to sleep at night I want

you to make two determinations one is

exactly to the second what time you're

going to wake up and two I want you to

make a determination that when you wake

up in the morning you're gonna be

smiling and happy and then keep it going

okay now when you're doing your walking

meditation you're staying with your

spiritual friend you're not gonna be

used to staying with the spiritual

friends so your mind is gonna get

distracted as soon as you know that

notice your mind is distracted use the

six R's and gently come back to being

with your spiritual friend and radiating

that loving-kindness when you're walking

don't be looking around some people like

to distract themselves by walking and

that's not the things that you want to

be doing you want to be staying with

your object of meditation and not be

distracted so walk with your eyes down

walk at a normal pace do not walk slowly


as a matter of fact there's times when

I'm going to tell you I want you to walk

a lot faster to pick up your energy to

get your walking so that you get

circulation in yours in your system but

you're also walking to stay with your

spiritual friend - okay


I can't they've got anything else new

when it's time for an interview please

don't make me wait

at first the interviews are gonna go

very quickly because you haven't got a

whole lot to say as you start developing

your meditation the interviews will slow

down a little bit then I'll start

talking more with you about what what's

really happening so please be prompt and

sometimes I will have to talk with

somebody for a little while because they

are going through some kind of stuff so

that means to be some clarity


I just got back from India and some real

interesting stuff was happening the

first Dhamma talk I gave in India it was

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