12 Dec
Posted in: Groups, Practice
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May All Beings….

Tonight at the Hi-Pointe Sitting Group, I plan to offer instructions on the practice of Metta meditation. Metta is a Pali word that is often translated as “loving-kindness”….a word that, to my ear, sounds stilted and “saintly” (and therefore disconnected from my everyday life.) But the root word of “metta” is the same as the word for “friend,” so I prefer the more colloquial translations, which are “friendliness” and “goodwill.”

Here are the Buddha’s words on the practice of Goodwill (Metta Sutta SN 1.8):

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who seeks 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 beings 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 being 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 mindfulness.
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. 

(translation by Amaravati Sangha, image from “Offering,” by Danielle and Olivier Follmi)

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