Cultivating Lovingkindness as an Insight Practice

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Cultivating Lovingkindness as an Insight Practice
with Elaine Retholtz
Five Week Course on Mondays, October 21st – November 18th, 2019 | 9:30am – 11:30am


Lovingkindness (metta) is often taught as a concentration practice. And yet, in the Metta Sutta, the Buddha says:

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
(of unconditional, boundless friendliness – metta)
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

In the process of cultivating metta, we will naturally encounter the other Brahma Viharas: Karuna Compassion), Mudita (Empathetic Joy), Upekkha (Equanimity), and will explore the insight potential of each of these.

The brahma-viharas, or “sublime attitudes,” are the Buddha’s primary heart teachings—the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness. Of these four emotions, Lovingkindness (metta) is the most fundamental. It’s the wish for true happiness, a wish you can direct to yourself or to others.

The next two emotions in the list are essentially applications of Lovingkindness. Compassion (karuna) is what Lovingkindness feels when it encounters suffering: it wants the suffering to stop. Empathetic joy (mudita) is what Lovingkindness feels when it encounters happiness: it wants the happiness to continue. Equanimity (upekkha) is a different emotion, in that it acts as an aid to and a check on the other three. In this course we will practice cultivating metta and will investigate the insights that arise from this practice.


Please register at the highest level that your generosity offers.
Explanations of levels follow below.

Registration Fees include Teacher Support

New York Insight Meditation Center has streamlined the registration fee levels. Members of our Circle of Friends are eligible to receive 20% off of the Sustaining Rate via a code provided in the email confirming membership, which you can enter after clicking the Sustaining Level registration.

*Benefactor Level: Supports NYI’s ability to offer the Subsidized Base.

**Sustaining Level: This level reflects the actual costs to support this program. Circle of Friends members eligible for 20% discount with code. Click here to join.

***Subsidized Base: Made possible by the generosity of Benefactor Level above and other donations to ensure participation by those requiring financial assistance.

If you have questions about your registration (cancellation policy, membership discount, email confirmation, etc.), please read our FAQs. If your question is not addressed in the FAQs, please email

If you are unable to pay the Subsidized Base Fee, you can learn about volunteering to offer work exchange and letting us know how much you are able to pay for this program by emailing



Elaine Retholtz

Elaine RetholtzElaine Retholtz has been studying and practicing the Dharma since 1988. In addition to teaching Dharma at New York Insight, she is a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher and has a deep interest in helping students integrate mindfulness practice into daily life. Elaine is committed to deepening her own understanding of issues of diversity and the way racial conditioning in the United States affects all of us — both as individuals and in relationship to the institutions we are a part of, including New York Insight. She’s been involved in New York Insight’s diversity efforts for many years, serving on the diversity committee, and working with others to create spaces – for diverse groups of practitioners as well as for white practitioners meeting separately – to explore these issues within a Dharma frame.

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