30
Sep
05

metta – loving kindness



The cultivation of this state of mind is called Bhavana or normally translated as meditation. When we cultivate it, it becomes strong, powerful and useful. It brings us abundant, deep and intense peace and happiness.

The cultivation of it involves the following:

1 The concentration of metta. Concentrated, it becomes strong and powerful.

2 Metta is also trained so that it can be given to anybody. That is, it is flexible, versatile, universal and boundless.

3 When this potent force has become powerful we can make use of it to produce many marvels to make everyone’s life better.

To do this effectively one needs the method. Acquiring the skill requires patience. With experience one improves.

**********************

Metta in Buddhism is a state of mind. Its object is the lovable being. It is the state of wishing to promote the welfare of the lovable being. In the Buddhist teachings, the doctrine of anatta – or non-self – occupies a position of prime importance. As such it may seem to be conflicting. This is because there are two types of truths, conventional (sammutti) and ultimate (paramattha). Conventional truths are conceptual, and true only at the conventional level. When seen in an ultimate point of view (i.e. a mind freed from ideas, concepts) they do not exist. They are like shadows cast by realities. Therefore the "person" exists only conventionally. Ultimately, "he" can be experienced as mental and material processes. If you see things in this way you are looking at things as they really are, which is actually insight (vipassana). To develop this direct vision into reality is to practise insight meditation – vipassana bhavana. At such a time, we cannot be having metta as the nature of the objects differs. Moreover, when we return to conventional realities or switch back to conceptual objects then we may have the metta again. That is why, comparatively, vipassana is more profound and superior. It frees one utterly from all sufferings of samsara (cycle of birth and death). Metta, however, must not be underestimated, although it has its limitations. Most of us will need a lot of time before we have completed the work of insight cultivation. And even after that metta will still play a great role. Even Buddhas are not always without conceptual objects. Concepts occur together with the mental formations and processes. In the discourse to Subha, the Buddha answers questions posed to him as to the reasons for long life and so forth. From the answers, we find that the kammic results that lead to long life, good health, beauty, following, wealth, noble birth can be attributed to acts connected with loving kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy. Therefore the Four Sublime Abodes (Brahmavihara: i.e. loving-kindness, compassion, altrustic joy and equanimity) act as a soothing balm to those still within the cycle of birth and death. Besides these, we also see metta as an effective means: 1. to overcome anger – as it is the opposite of these violent and destructive mental states, 2. to build up the required concentration base for the development of insight, because with metta, our mind concentrates rapidly, 3. for a healthy relationship with every living being – so important for a happy family, society and the world. From this we can see that Metta Bhavana is something that should be practised to some degree by everyone. Without it one not only tends to fail in social and personal relationships but is also at a great disadvantage when involved in spiritual practice. *****************
Metta is a Pali word
meaning loving-kindness. Metta chanting is the radiation of loving-kindness
towards all beings: May they all be happy and peaceful. Imee Ooi chants
the Pali beautifully. Metta chanting is soothing, uplifting, joyful and
a great healing for the world – pervading it with waves of love. Truly,
may all beings be happy. May they live always in peace and harmony.

The Chant Of Metta

Aham avero homi
May I be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjho homi
May I be free from mental suffering

anigha homi
May I be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharami

May I take care of myself happily

Mama matapitu
May my parents

acariya ca natimitta
ca

teacher relatives and friends

sabrahma – carino
ca

fellow Dhamma farers

avera hontu
be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

may they take care of themselves happily

Imasmim arame
sabbe yogino

May all meditators in this compound

avera hontu
be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

May they take care of themselves happily

Imasmim arame
sabbe bhikkhu

May all monks in this compound

samanera ca
novice monks

upasaka – upasikaya
ca

laymen and laywomen disciples

avera hontu
be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

May they take care of themselves happily

Amhakam catupaccaya
– dayaka

May our donors of the four supports: clothing, food, medicine and lodging

avera hontu
be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

May they take care of themselves happily

Amhakam arakkha
devata

May our guardian devas

Ismasmim vihare
in this monastery

Ismasmim avase
in this dwelling

Ismasmim arame
in this compound

arakkha devata
May the guardian devas

avera hontu
be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

may they take care of themselves happily

Sabbe satta
May all beings

sabbe pana
all breathing things

sabbe bhutta
all creatures

sabbe puggala
all individuals (all beings)

sabbe attabhava
– pariyapanna

all personalities (all beings with mind and body)

sabbe itthoyo
may all females

sabbe purisa
all males

sabbe ariya
all noble ones (saints)

sabbe anariya
all worldlings (those yet to attain sainthood)

sabbe deva
all devas (deities)

sabbe manussa
all humans

sabbe vinipatika
all those in the four woeful planes

avera hontu
be free from enmity and dangers

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering
sukhi – attanam pariharantu
may they take care of themselves happily

Dukkha muccantu
May all being be free from suffering

Yattha-laddha-sampattito
mavigacchantu

May whatever they have gained not be lost

Kammassaka
All beings are owners of their own Kamma

Purathimaya disaya
in the eastern direction

pacchimaya disaya
in the western direction

uttara disaya
in the northern direction

dakkhinaya disaya
in the southern direction

purathimaya anudisaya
in the southeast direction

pacchimaya anudisaya
in the northwest direction

uttara anudisaya
in the northeast direction

dakkhinaya anudisaya
in the southwest direction

hetthimaya disaya
in the direction below

uparimaya disaya
in the direction above

Sabbe satta
May all beings

sabbe pana
all breathing things

sabbe bhutta
all creatures

sabbe puggala
all individuals (all beings)

sabbe attabhava
– pariyapanna

all personalities (all beings with mind and body)

sabbe itthoyo
may all females

sabbe purisa
all males

sabbe ariya
all noble ones (saints)

sabbe anariya
(those yet to attain sainthood)

sabbe deva
all devas (deities)

sabbe manussa
all humans

sabbe vinipatika
all those in the 4 woeful planes

avera hontu
be free from enmity and dangers

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam
pariharantu

may they take care of themselves happily

Dukkha muccantu
May all beings be free from suffering

Yattha-laddha-sampattito
mavigacchantu

May whatever they have gained not be lost

Kammassaka
All beings are owners of their own kamma

Uddham yava bhavagga
ca

As far as the highest plane of existence

adho yava aviccito
to as far down as the lowest plane

samanta cakkavalesu
in the entire universe

ye satta pathavicara
whatever beings that move on earth

abyapajjha nivera
ca

may they are free of mental suffering and enmity

nidukkha ca nupaddava
and from physical suffering and danger

Uddham yava bhavagga
ca

As far as the highest plane of existence

adho yava aviccito
to as far down as the lowest plane

samanta cakkavalesu
in the entire universe

ye satta udakecara
whatever beings that move on water

abyapajjha nivera
ca

may they are free of mental suffering and enmity

nidukkha ca nupaddava
and from physical suffering and danger

Uddham yava bhavagga
ca

As far as the highest plane of existence

adho yava aviccito
to as far down as the lowest plane

samanta cakkavalesu
in the entire universe

ye satta akasecara
whatever beings that move in air

abyapajjha nivera
ca

may they are free of mental suffering and enmity

nidukkha ca nupaddava
and from physical suffering and danger.

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