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Metta Meditation - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Metta Meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
pktun
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby pktun » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:40 pm

Metta Bhavana

I have listened to a two hour sermon on Metta Bhavana by Chanmyay Sayadaw about ten years ago.

The practitioner of metta bhavana is like a musician practising to play a harp. The more he plays the better he becomes. Whether the listener benefit or not depends on whether his attention is tuned to hear or enjoy the music.

Sending goodwill and loving kindness to all beings in all directions gives the person an immense joy and satisfaction.

To practice metta to promote concentration needs a specific technique.

There are some useful ways to prepare ourselves before starting metta bhavana. One should wash and dress clean clothings, preferably eat a vegetarian meal (it is said to help developing metta by avoiding meat of killed animals). It is sensible to follow the basic morality, five precepts. Imagine how a mother would feel towards her only son. Think towards ourselves what we want and need. Prime our metta bhavana by wishing ourselves to be healthy, prosperous, to be free of physical pain and mental distress, to be able to fulfil our own needs and comfort. Then we carry on with sending metta to respectful teachers, sanghas/monks, parents, relatives, friends, workmates, neighbours, people difficult to deal with, and lastly enemies (when the metta state is very strong).

One should start sending metta ( by wishing good health, prosperity, freedom from bodily pain and mental distress, to be able to fulfil own's needs, to realise higher dhamma and to retain the previous wisdom) repeatedly to someone we respect ( like a meditation teacher or a monk), again and again, many many times until you can see or concentrate strongly on that person very clearly and continuously. Sometimes we may see his face (which may be smiling).

We have to make a wish to have a state of mind filled with metta, which has five qualities: vitaka (aiming), vicara (rubbing against object), piti (rapture/joy), sukha (happiness), ekatta(unity or singleness). After repeated practice and when the mind is calmer, we can then wish for a state of metta with 3 qualities: piti, sukha, ekatta and continue reducing these one by one until ekatta state of metta remains.

Once the concentration is very strong, we can try sending to another person from the similar category of people. If the mind become shaky, we have to return to the previous person again to send metta. An example of trying to fill a small pond with water before we can send water along the connecting drains on the ground to other ponds was given. If the first pond is not full, water will not easily flow to the second or third ponds.

There are a category of persons not suitable to start sending metta because it can be difficult, ending in unwanted mental states or impossible to cencentrate. They are the people we love intimately ( can become very sad if they are ill or miserable), those we hate ( can result in strong anger), those we barely know ( difficult to create a metta state), opposite sex ( can cause lust), people who have died ( mind will not settle, because their mental object is difficult to focus). In the commentary a young monk tried repeatedly to send metta to his master without success and later found out that his master has passed away. (It is very difficult to say whether the mind actually searched or reached out to find the object because mind does not follow the usual physical time and space dimensions.)

When the concentration is strong, we can move our focus of metta from one category to the other and will be successful even towards enemies.


Persons who practice metta will have the following benefits: good sleep, refreshed on waking up, good dreams, loved by humans, devas, free from dangerous and poisonous animals, protection from weapons, poisons and fire, good concentration, clear complexion, peaceful at the time of death and reaching the brahma (devine realm) in the after life. (11 benefits of metta)

(P.S. If the initial aim of doing metta bhavana is to support the vipassana mindfulness, the deep concentrated metta state can be observed as a vippassana mind object, and notice annica, dukkha and anatta characteristics.Note: samatha-yanika/vipassana-yanika)

May you be successful with your metta bhavana.

Peter Khin Tun

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:05 am

fwiw the only time i'm positive i acheived a jhanic state was while doing metta meditation...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

Individual
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:17 pm

It is important to reflect on all of the Brahmaviharas, not just metta. It might also be good to observe how each Brahmavihara spills over into the other.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:08 pm

To be more blunt: How can you expect to ride a horse (to the Brahma realms) with only one leg? How can you expect to drive a car with only one wheel, or expect a bird to fly with only one wing?

A horse with only one leg instead of four will just hop around, or fall over. Likewise, a car with only one wheel instead of four, a bird with only one wing (i.e. compassion but no wisdom, wisdom but no compassion, intelligence but no faith, faith but no intelligence), can only move in circles, at best.

Moving around in circles, while superstitiously thinking, "I am sending out karmic energy which makes the world a better place," based on practices derived from the Visuddhimagga but not the Tipitaka, this is not a good meditation practice. But it is better than not meditating at all and it's a good place for beginners to start.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:49 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Individual
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:19 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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stuka
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:11 am


Individual
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:55 am

The best things in life aren't things.


Element

Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Element » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:16 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:12 am

:focus:
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:12 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Dhammanando
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:48 pm


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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:37 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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halwilson
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby halwilson » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:11 pm

Here's link to Sayadaw U Pandita's helpful instructions for Metta meditation, an excerpt from his book, The State of Mind Called Beautiful.



Cheers, Hal
"We had the experience, but missed the meaning" T. S. Eliot

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:50 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ben
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:55 pm

Hi Manapa

It looks to me more like mindfulness rather than metta meditation. Metta meditation is more focused on generating feelings of metta, upekkha, mudita and karuna and projecting those feeling outward, to other beings. Metta also sometimes incorporates the sharing of merits with others.
Kind regards

Ben
BTW, nice avatar pic!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:36 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:57 pm

With Metta

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cooran
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:58 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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mikenz66
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Re: Metta Meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:44 am



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