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Future Interrelatedness: Wow!

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  • Antony Woods
    Dear Group, Here are some of my thoughts about metta and interrelatedness: Sending metta (lovingkindness) to people one will never meet in this lifetime is
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 27, 2006
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      Dear Group,

      Here are some of my thoughts about metta and interrelatedness:

      Sending metta (lovingkindness) to people one will never meet in this
      lifetime is dismissed by materialists as having no effect other than
      on the brain of the meditator.

      However the Buddha gave a vast vision of life which includes all
      (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000?) beings – that it is hard to
      find any being who has not been one's mother or father, sister or
      brother, daughter or son in beginningless samsara of previous lives -
      see the Mata Sutta:
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn15/sn15.014.than.html
      When this is extrapolated into the future – that it is hard to find a
      being now who will not become a close relative again and again in
      future lives - then one can believe that changing one's attitude
      towards any being in the universe has a subtle yet real effect –
      planting a seed for when one is related to them in a future life.

      What if for a being Nibbana (Nirvana) intervenes, so that they aren't
      experiencing rebirth anymore in order to be related again? Nibbana is
      freedom rather than a private bunker. See:
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/samsara.html
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nibbana.html
      Any other links appreciated.

      Wow! The question arises: How can this vision be lived?

      In the Karaniya Metta Sutta the Buddha taught:
      "As a mother would risk her life
      to protect her child, her only child,
      even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
      with regard to all beings."

      So sending metta to all beings is not to develop a huge spiritual ego
      but simply aligning yourself with the reality of interrelatedness.

      What do you think is the true purpose of sending metta to all beings?

      Thanks / Antony.
    • Antony Woods
      Dear Sharon and Group, Just reviving this thread after contemplating the situation in Burma. I am in Australia and don t speak Burmese so the mental action of
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 27, 2007
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        Dear Sharon and Group,

        Just reviving this thread after contemplating the situation in Burma.
        I am in Australia and don't speak Burmese so the mental action of
        radiating metta to Buddhists in Burma cannot be translated into verbal
        and bodily actions (although greetings to any Burmese on Buddhaviharas!).

        I revived this thread because it makes me think it is still meaningful
        to send metta to the people of Burma with the Buddhist worldview of
        either boundless Nirvana or infinite future lives where everyone
        currently living in Burma will literally be my mother or father,
        brother or sister, son or daughter etc.

        I've been searching for Mahayana teachings on the mind-boggling
        Bodhisattva Vow which seems to involve many aeons of striving! Maybe
        the Theravadin Nibbana goal also involves many lifetimes of striving
        and involvement with other people rather than just winding down to the
        end of this lifetime.

        Any links appreciated.

        Thanks / Antony.

        --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, 28 July 2006 "Antony Woods"
        <antony272b@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Group,
        >
        > Here are some of my thoughts about metta and interrelatedness:
        >
        > Sending metta (lovingkindness) to people one will never meet in this
        > lifetime is dismissed by materialists as having no effect other than
        > on the brain of the meditator.
        >
        > However the Buddha gave a vast vision of life which includes all
        > (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000?) beings – that it is hard to
        > find any being who has not been one's mother or father, sister or
        > brother, daughter or son in beginningless samsara of previous lives -
        > see the Mata Sutta:
        > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn15/sn15.014.than.html
        > When this is extrapolated into the future – that it is hard to find a
        > being now who will not become a close relative again and again in
        > future lives - then one can believe that changing one's attitude
        > towards any being in the universe has a subtle yet real effect –
        > planting a seed for when one is related to them in a future life.
        >
        > What if for a being Nibbana (Nirvana) intervenes, so that they aren't
        > experiencing rebirth anymore in order to be related again? Nibbana is
        > freedom rather than a private bunker. See:
        > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html
        > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/samsara.html
        > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nibbana.html
        > Any other links appreciated.
        >
        > Wow! The question arises: How can this vision be lived?
        >
        > In the Karaniya Metta Sutta the Buddha taught:
        > "As a mother would risk her life
        > to protect her child, her only child,
        > even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
        > with regard to all beings."
        >
        > So sending metta to all beings is not to develop a huge spiritual ego
        > but simply aligning yourself with the reality of interrelatedness.
        >
        > What do you think is the true purpose of sending metta to all beings?
        >
        > Thanks / Antony.
        >
      • Sharon
        Antony and all, I believe Sharon Salzberg and other Western writers have alluded to the fact that the Bodhisattva (Bodhisatta I think in Pali?) ideal exists to
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 29, 2007
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          Antony and all,

          I believe Sharon Salzberg and other Western writers have alluded to
          the fact that the Bodhisattva (Bodhisatta I think in Pali?) ideal
          exists to some extent in Theravada Buddhism; and certainly the idea
          that we have all lived many lifetimes together. I don't have a link,
          though! You might run a search on the terms Bodhisattva and
          Bodhisatta on Access to Insight, perhaps.

          I know the brave monks and nuns and all of the people of Burma are
          very much on my mind and in my heart now, and I'm sure all of yours.
          Perhaps we could all spend some time in meditation directing
          lovingkindness towards everyone involved in the situation, even the
          soldiers and government officials who, perhaps, need it most of all.

          May all beings be free of strife. May all be happy.

          In lovingkindness,

          Sharon

          --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "Antony Woods" <antony272b@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Dear Sharon and Group,
          >
          > Just reviving this thread after contemplating the situation in
          Burma.
          > I am in Australia and don't speak Burmese so the mental action of
          > radiating metta to Buddhists in Burma cannot be translated into
          verbal
          > and bodily actions (although greetings to any Burmese on
          Buddhaviharas!).
          >
          > I revived this thread because it makes me think it is still
          meaningful
          > to send metta to the people of Burma with the Buddhist worldview of
          > either boundless Nirvana or infinite future lives where everyone
          > currently living in Burma will literally be my mother or father,
          > brother or sister, son or daughter etc.
          >
          > I've been searching for Mahayana teachings on the mind-boggling
          > Bodhisattva Vow which seems to involve many aeons of striving! Maybe
          > the Theravadin Nibbana goal also involves many lifetimes of striving
          > and involvement with other people rather than just winding down to
          the
          > end of this lifetime.
          >
          > Any links appreciated.
          >
          > Thanks / Antony.
          >
          > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, 28 July 2006 "Antony Woods"
          > <antony272b@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Dear Group,
          > >
          > > Here are some of my thoughts about metta and interrelatedness:
          > >
          > > Sending metta (lovingkindness) to people one will never meet in
          this
          > > lifetime is dismissed by materialists as having no effect other
          than
          > > on the brain of the meditator.
          > >
          > > However the Buddha gave a vast vision of life which includes all
          > > (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000?) beings – that it is hard
          to
          > > find any being who has not been one's mother or father, sister or
          > > brother, daughter or son in beginningless samsara of previous
          lives -
          > > see the Mata Sutta:
          > > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn15/sn15.014.than.html
          > > When this is extrapolated into the future – that it is hard to
          find a
          > > being now who will not become a close relative again and again in
          > > future lives - then one can believe that changing one's attitude
          > > towards any being in the universe has a subtle yet real effect –
          > > planting a seed for when one is related to them in a future life.
          > >
          > > What if for a being Nibbana (Nirvana) intervenes, so that they
          aren't
          > > experiencing rebirth anymore in order to be related again?
          Nibbana is
          > > freedom rather than a private bunker. See:
          > >
          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html
          > >
          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/samsara.html
          > > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nibbana.html
          > > Any other links appreciated.
          > >
          > > Wow! The question arises: How can this vision be lived?
          > >
          > > In the Karaniya Metta Sutta the Buddha taught:
          > > "As a mother would risk her life
          > > to protect her child, her only child,
          > > even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
          > > with regard to all beings."
          > >
          > > So sending metta to all beings is not to develop a huge spiritual
          ego
          > > but simply aligning yourself with the reality of interrelatedness.
          > >
          > > What do you think is the true purpose of sending metta to all
          beings?
          > >
          > > Thanks / Antony.
          > >
          >
        • Antony Woods
          Sharon, Thanks for your reply. My meditation last night wasn t very pleasant. Then, with humor, I said to myself that lying in bed would be even worse! In his
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 29, 2007
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            Sharon,

            Thanks for your reply.

            My meditation last night wasn't very pleasant. Then, with humor, I
            said to myself that lying in bed would be even worse!

            In his brand-new article, Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:
            "If you're approaching meditation as a lifetime activity, you've got
            to have goals. You've got to want results. Otherwise the whole thing
            loses focus, and you start wondering why you're sitting here when you
            could be sitting out on the beach."
            http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/strengthtraining.html
            From: Strength Training for the Mind
            By Thanissaro Bhikkhu
            For Free Distribution with the kind permission of Access to Insight
            and Thanissaro Bhikkhu

            Another thought on sending metta and equanimity to Buddhists in Burma.
            Equanimity isn't saying that metta is futile. It is patience that
            metta won't help instantly and may take many lifetimes to reach them.
            And their courage shows that they are not mere recipients of metta!
            They are helping many beings directly and indirectly. Many of the
            monks were chanting the Metta Sutta whilst marching. If they have
            meditation as an Olympic sport in Beijing, Burma will win lots of gold
            medals!

            Thanks for listening / Antony.

            >From: "Sharon" <sharonwerner@...>
            >To: Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: [Buddhaviharas] Re: Future Interrelatedness: Wow!
            >Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 15:08:58 -0000
            >
            >Antony and all,
            >
            >I believe Sharon Salzberg and other Western writers have alluded to
            >the fact that the Bodhisattva (Bodhisatta I think in Pali?) ideal
            >exists to some extent in Theravada Buddhism; and certainly the idea
            >that we have all lived many lifetimes together. I don't have a link,
            >though! You might run a search on the terms Bodhisattva and
            >Bodhisatta on Access to Insight, perhaps.
            >
            >I know the brave monks and nuns and all of the people of Burma are
            >very much on my mind and in my heart now, and I'm sure all of yours.
            >Perhaps we could all spend some time in meditation directing
            >lovingkindness towards everyone involved in the situation, even the
            >soldiers and government officials who, perhaps, need it most of all.
            >
            >May all beings be free of strife. May all be happy.
            >
            >In lovingkindness,
            >
            >Sharon
            >
            >--- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "Antony Woods" <antony272b@...>
            >wrote:
            > >
            > > Dear Sharon and Group,
            > >
            > > Just reviving this thread after contemplating the situation in
            >Burma.
            > > I am in Australia and don't speak Burmese so the mental action of
            > > radiating metta to Buddhists in Burma cannot be translated into
            >verbal
            > > and bodily actions (although greetings to any Burmese on
            >Buddhaviharas!).
            > >
            > > I revived this thread because it makes me think it is still
            >meaningful
            > > to send metta to the people of Burma with the Buddhist worldview of
            > > either boundless Nirvana or infinite future lives where everyone
            > > currently living in Burma will literally be my mother or father,
            > > brother or sister, son or daughter etc.
            > >
            > > I've been searching for Mahayana teachings on the mind-boggling
            > > Bodhisattva Vow which seems to involve many aeons of striving! Maybe
            > > the Theravadin Nibbana goal also involves many lifetimes of striving
            > > and involvement with other people rather than just winding down to
            >the
            > > end of this lifetime.
            > >
            > > Any links appreciated.
            > >
            > > Thanks / Antony.
            > >
            > > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, 28 July 2006 "Antony Woods"
            > > <antony272b@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Dear Group,
            > > >
            > > > Here are some of my thoughts about metta and interrelatedness:
            > > >
            > > > Sending metta (lovingkindness) to people one will never meet in
            >this
            > > > lifetime is dismissed by materialists as having no effect other
            >than
            > > > on the brain of the meditator.
            > > >
            > > > However the Buddha gave a vast vision of life which includes all
            > > > (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000?) beings – that it is hard
            >to
            > > > find any being who has not been one's mother or father, sister or
            > > > brother, daughter or son in beginningless samsara of previous
            >lives -
            > > > see the Mata Sutta:
            > > > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn15/sn15.014.than.html
            > > > When this is extrapolated into the future – that it is hard to
            >find a
            > > > being now who will not become a close relative again and again in
            > > > future lives - then one can believe that changing one's attitude
            > > > towards any being in the universe has a subtle yet real effect –
            > > > planting a seed for when one is related to them in a future life.
            > > >
            > > > What if for a being Nibbana (Nirvana) intervenes, so that they
            >aren't
            > > > experiencing rebirth anymore in order to be related again?
            >Nibbana is
            > > > freedom rather than a private bunker. See:
            > > >
            >http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html
            > > >
            >http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/samsara.html
            > > > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nibbana.html
            > > > Any other links appreciated.
            > > >
            > > > Wow! The question arises: How can this vision be lived?
            > > >
            > > > In the Karaniya Metta Sutta the Buddha taught:
            > > > "As a mother would risk her life
            > > > to protect her child, her only child,
            > > > even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
            > > > with regard to all beings."
            > > >
            > > > So sending metta to all beings is not to develop a huge spiritual
            >ego
            > > > but simply aligning yourself with the reality of interrelatedness.
            > > >
            > > > What do you think is the true purpose of sending metta to all
            >beings?
            > > >
            > > > Thanks / Antony.
            > >
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