Category III Concentration- Metta

Graphic of Buddhist worship

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all things be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all things be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
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.

– Author Unknown

Involving the heart – metta and devotional practice

Metta and prayer have a unique role to play in spiritual practice, and the effect thereof on the practice of a technical vipassana meditator has yet to be clearly elucidated in a practical way, the insights explained at the level of every day, accessible states, and for the dedicated householder. This text aims to provide that knowledge, and I sincerely hope that this will enrich and awaken the heart within.

Metta practice is a broad topic, but the method of doing metta that I teach has certain core principles, or certain intentions that are guiding the mental process of loving-kindness practice. The practice itself was originally done by forest monks to overcome the fear of living in the forest among the wild predators and beasts of the jungle. The more common way metta practice is described is as an antidote to aversion and ill will. These are both forms of aversion and ill will, but in the story of the monks in the forest, the aversion and ill will was creating the emotion of fear, they are averse to the death or damage of self. We see here that this is a subjective mental experience in the minds of the monks, any fear is obviously related to a moment or event in the future that would cause harm or death to the self, the aversion being aversion to damage of the self.

They had good reason to be afraid; however the Buddhist scriptures tell stories of the monks wishing metta in all directions, and that having a taming effect on the animals of the forest. The intention of goodwill provided a sort of protective bubble around the practitioner. This key dynamic is what we wish to elaborate, materialize, and master. The skillful use of metta and devotional practice can appropriately be thought of as a protective shield around the practitioner- a real kind of Magick.  But as we will come to develop, the self-other relationship upon which any threats exist to begin with, is an entirely subjective mental experience. What more, is that by knowing the conditional nature of mind and the framework for these experiences, we can influence the mind to learn something from this dynamic in action.

We can learn to use the metta practice to realize insight using the practice techniques here. 

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