3 Dec
Posted in: Homework, Practice, Suttas
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Let None Wish Others Harm

The December homework for the CDL (Community Dharma Leader) program has just arrived. The focus this month is on what Sharon Salzberg calls our Four Best Homes…the four Brahma Viharas, also translated as the four Divine Abodes: Metta (Loving Kindness), Karuna (Compassion), Mudita (Joy in the Happiness of Others) and Upekkha (Equanimity).

One of our assignments is to do a formal practice for each of the Brahma Viharas for one week during our sitting practice. That is: each day for a full week, do Metta practice during one entire sitting period. Then move to Compassion, then Joy, then finally Equanimity. As a support for this, the teachers sent the text of the Metta Sutta in its original Pali (the first language used to record the Buddha’s teachings) along with an English translation that’s slightly different from the one I heard the first time I encountered these teachings. I like it a lot. So I offer it here, for your welfare and benefit:

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness

Having glimpsed the state of perfect peace,
Let them be able, honest and upright,
Gentle in speech, meek and not proud.

Contented and easy to support,
With few duties, and simple in living.

Tranquil their senses, masterful and modest,
without greed for supporters. 

Also, let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Let them cultivate the thought:
May all be well and secure,
May all beings be happy.

Whatever living creatures there be,
Without exception, weak or strong,
Long, huge or middle-sized,
Or short, minute or bulky,

Whether visible or invisible,
And those living far or near,
The born and those seeking birth,
May all beings be happy.

Let none deceive another
Or despise any being in any state;
Let none wish others harm
In resentment or in hate.

Just as with her own life
A mother shields her child,
Her only child, from hurt
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.

Cultivate a limitless heart of goodwill
For all throughout the cosmos,
In all its height, depth and breath —
Love that is untroubled
And beyond hatred or enmity.

As you stand, walk, sit or lie,
So long as you are awake,
Pursue this awareness with your might:
It is deemed the Divine Abiding — here and

Holding no more to wrong views,
A pure-hearted one, having clarity
Of vision, being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world. 

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