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Ajahn Sumedho on Metta

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  • Sharon Werner
    Metta, loving kindness, is an all-inclusive practice. Although liberation comes through letting go of our attachment to the conditioned world, if we
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 14, 2006
      "Metta, loving kindness, is an all-inclusive practice. Although liberation comes through letting go of our attachment to the conditioned world, if we concentrate on this alone we may develop an attitude which is excluding, almost annihilistic. The tendency will be to see conditions solely in terms of not being attached to them, or even trying to get rid of them. But with metta, we are relating to all conditioned experience with an attitude of kindness, accepting things as they are. Consider what this does to the mind as a practice. We contemplate all phenomena, all sentient beings, in terms of loving-kindness rather than in terms of which is best, which is worst, what we like, what we don't like.

      "Metta is non-discriminatory. It doesn't mean liking one thing rather than another, it isn't a question of singling out: "I love this person, I don't love that one." Ours is a highly critical society. We are brought up to emphasise what's wrong with ourselves, our family and friends, the government, the country, the world at large - and so we become very conscious of the negative. We see the fault in people or things and become obsessed with that, and are no longer able to see what's right about them. In practising metta, however, we deliberately avoid clinging to faults and weaknesses. We're not blind to them, we're not promoting them, rather we maintain an attitude of kindness and patience towards defects in ourselves and others."

      ~ Ajahn Sumedho, "Universal Loving Kindness" From Forest Sangha Newsletter, October 1997, Number 42

      The entire article can be read at:

      http://www.abhayagiri.org/index.php/main/article_print/215/


      May this be of benefit.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sharon Werner
      At first metta needs to be something we radiate to ourselves, willing good to this being here, because this creature is the most significant one for us. Maybe
      Message 2 of 4 , May 18, 2009
        "At first metta needs to be something we radiate to ourselves, willing good to this being here,
        because this creature is the most significant one for us.
        Maybe we'd rather have metta for our mothers, or for some inspiring figure.
        It's easier sometimes to send goodwill to some wonderful person
        or to masses of people like Ethiopians or a billion Chinese.
        But we have to admit that, in this lifetime, this being is the most significant being for ourselves.
        This is the being that was born, that we are with all the time.
        So we admit that.
        It's not a selfish practice, metta for oneself; it's not for selfish gain, it's
        just the willingness to respect and to learn how live in the right way with
        these conditions."

        http://www.geocities.com/ekchew.geo/Peacehapiness.html#b
        From: Reflections on Metta by Ajahn Sumedho

        Originally posted by Antony.


        May this be of benefit.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • shar_63
        As a spiritually developing being, one has to really contemplate in one s own life how to develop the right relationship with people: with one s parents and
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 8, 2010
          "As a spiritually developing being, one has to really contemplate in
          one's own life how to develop the right relationship with people:
          with one's parents and relatives, friends, and with society. This
          includes the willingness to forgive any wrongs done, the willingness
          to completely let go. Even though emotionally these things might
          still be painful, we accept the pain. With the heart, now, we're
          willing to suffer, accept this unpleasant feeling in the heart. We
          learn how to bear with that, how to even welcome it, so it's no
          longer something that we dread or resent but something that we fully
          accept and embrace. So then, on the conventional level – of mother
          and father, husband, wife, children, friends, enemies, all this – we
          practise metta. We can radiate this quite intentionally in the sense
          of actually sitting and concentrating at the heart to radiate
          outwards goodwill, good thoughts."

          ~ Ajahn Sumedho, excerpted from the chapter "Reflections On Metta"
          from "Peace and Kindness"

          The entire document can be found online at:
          www.buddhamind.info/leftside/under/pubs.htm


          May this be of benefit.
        • shar_63
          With people whom we have a lot of resentment or bitterness towards, metta is a way of forgiving and reminding ourselves to let go of it. It s not dismissing
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 14, 2010
            "With people whom we have a lot of resentment or bitterness towards,
            metta is a way of forgiving and reminding ourselves to let go of it.
            It's not dismissing or suppressing, but a reflection in forgiving and
            letting go of the perception. Start perceiving these people with
            metta, rather than just being overwhelmed with bitterness and
            resentment. Even if you can't feel any real positive thing, metta
            needn't be all that magnificent. It can be just being patient and not
            making any kind of problem about it. It doesn't mean you like people
            who have been really rotten and unfair to you, or those whom you
            can't like. Yet you can be kind to them; you can forgive, you can do
            what is right and generous to them - even if you don't like them.

            "`Liking' is something else. To like somebody, you have to feel
            attracted. You don't like your enemies. If somebody wants to do you
            in, you're not going to want to be with them. If somebody wants to
            stab you, that perception isn't one that makes you like them. If
            somebody wants to do me in, I'd rather keep a distance; that's only
            natural. But then we can rise above the sensory reaction, towards
            metta, which is a way of being patient, forgiving, doing what is
            right to do, what is appropriate to that situation. If somebody whom
            I don't like comes in, and I start thinking, `I don't like you, and I
            don't like this and I don't like that,' then I'm creating something
            onto the scene, I'm getting caught up in a mood of aversion to them
            and being carried away with it. But if somebody comes in and I feel
            this impulse of dislike, I can be fully aware of it, not denying it;
            I can accept it without adding anything to it. Then I can do what is
            appropriate, what is kind or generous in this circumstance. That's
            from the cool mind, from the mind that is open, receptive, not caught
            up in selfish view. Sakkayaditthi will say, `You did this and you did
            that and you shouldn't have, and you should have, and you don't
            really like me, you never understood me .!' when sakkayaditthi rants
            away, don't trust that. Sakkayaditthi is totally untrustworthy."


            ~ Ajahn Sumedho, excerpted from the chapter "Reflections On Metta"
            from "Peace and Kindness"

            The entire document can be found online at:
            www.buddhamind.info/leftside/under/pubs.htm


            May this be of benefit.
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