Brandon BarkwellLori StewartREL 1018 October 2017Metta & Karuna PracticeDefining Metta and Karuna is different for everyone, yet a basic understanding of showing and practicing loving kindness and compassion to all beings of life. These two terms originate from the four Brahma Viharas. These are guidelines in which you use with your attitude towards others. These also can be extended to immeasurable scopes of beings, meaning animals, insects, objects, etc. These are part of Buddha’s teaching or in other words the highest of all worldly excellence. If practiced alone even with perception into the kind of existence that persists, can lead to a rebirth into the heavens. Practicing these leads to achieving a greater self-awareness. This then helps the individual a deeper understanding of themselves, become a more well-rounded human, and show tenderness to all beings whom they interact with on a daily basis.I started by practicing and telling myself “I am related to all that is.” With this, I looked at everyone and everything as a friend. I made sure to pay special attention to the environment. Paying attention to the environment was hard for me because I had never done anything like this before. Once I started to do it, I realized how much I don’t take care of about where I walk, sit down or place my stuff. Mentally I had to remind myself what I was practicing but got better at it as the time went along. I worked on where I would sit and place my items between classes. On October 4th, while sitting on a bench by the turtle pond, I witness some horrific. Someone rolled their longboard on the grass sat down to proceed and ate some food. Emotionally it hurt to watch but physically nothing about me changed. I tried thinking of something to say but just didn’t know how to approach the situation. He then got up left some trash on the ground and started to walk away. He was walking in my direction so I took action to the situation. I kindly said to him “the environment we live in is crucial to our, existence and all of life such as animals and insects, so if you could pick up your trash that would mean the world to me.” He said “oh yeah I’m sorry” in and un-expecting matter. I noticed that I was not anxious or worried to say something to him. Reason being, I knew he was in the wrong and I knew what it was the right thing to do. I also noticed the matter of my words and the way I said it was different than how I normally talk. I behaved in an assertive way simply because I only had one chance to talk to him before he passed me. I learned that I don’t pay attention to our environment too often, but after this practice, I realized how special our environment is. I now know to think twice about where I walk, sit, and place items. My actions can negatively affect all beings around me and anything I can do to help/take care of others, the environment and I will only bring positivity to all of life.