The love we’re contemplating is recognition of a connection that’s actually deeper than emotion. The phrase is really the bottom line, because it’s the expression of our intention to connect, to include rather than exclude, to pay attention in a different way. ~ From this course
I have noticed before that practising lovingkindness for all sentient beings everywhere is working quite well over here with me. I feel wide and open, warm and boundless, just floating. An inner sense that every single living being just wants to be happy has been accessible for me from the first time on I practised formal lovingkindness meditation for all beings.
However, when practising lovingkindness for opposite pairs, e.g. for women and men, I keep noticing contractions (obstacles) arising.
I wondered what actually causes the arising of contraction while practising lovingkindness meditation for particular categories.
From observing and investigating I have seen the arising fear to be a trigger for contraction.
Fear is a quite valuable emotion to indicate an urgency of a wise action to protect either the physcial body or the mind – in an actual situation – of danger and harm.
Yet a lot of the fear which keeps arising here with me has nothing at all to do with an actual situation of an external threat to my body.
By looking closely I keep seeing that more often than not the fear of “the self” being harmed is present.
Neurosience and western psychology tell that there is no permant self to be found. And so does Buddhism.
In direct experience, too there is no solid self to be found. I have seen this clearly.
Nonetheless the fear of the self being harmed arises and thus – when unrecognized – leads to further exclusion.
As the quote says ” … lovingkindness is the intention to pay attention in a different way.”
I keep practising it. 🙂