how does metta not cause attachment?

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how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:10 am

the love of a mother for her child is an EXTREME attachment. how could developing this kind of love for all the beings in the world create anything but attachment to said beings?

don't get me wrong, surely it does not cause this otherwise the buddha wouldn't have taught it!

i just don't understand and was hoping someone could inform me.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:38 am

alan... wrote:how could developing this kind of love for all the beings in the world create anything but attachment to said beings?

By not taking that love to its extreme, and evenly extending loving kindness to all sentient beings so that your focus isn't confined to one person or group.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:43 am

mettafuture wrote:
alan... wrote:how could developing this kind of love for all the beings in the world create anything but attachment to said beings?

By not taking that love to its extreme, and evenly extending loving kindness to all sentient beings so that your focus isn't confined to one person or group.


i know, it's a mother's love for all beings. that's still great attachment. even more difficult to release than attachment to one person, you are attached to EVERY being with a deep loving bond. if you see a raccoon squished on the side of the road that would be shattering if you had developed great love for it, right?

clearly i'm missing something here as i must be wrong. the buddha recommended this practice all over the place so there must be some flaw in my logic.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:57 am

alan... wrote:i know, it's a mother's love for all beings. that's still great attachment.

Not quite. It's love without attachment, developing the skill to care for something while understanding its impermanent nature. In my personal experience, contemplating impermance (anicca), or more broardly dependent origination, has been very helpful in keeping me grounded in reality when extending metta.

if you see a raccoon squished on the side of the road that would be shattering if you had developed great love for it, right?

But if you allowed yourself to face the unfortunate truth that death was inevitable for the raccoon, as it is for all life, its passing wouldn't come as much as a shock.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:59 am

mettafuture wrote:
alan... wrote:i know, it's a mother's love for all beings. that's still great attachment.

Not quite. It's love without attachment, developing the skill to care for something while understanding its impermanent nature. In my experience, contemplating impermance (anicca), or more broardly dependent origination, has been very helpful in keeping me grounded in reality when extending metta.

if you see a raccoon squished on the side of the road that would be shattering if you had developed great love for it, right?

But if you allowed yourself to face the unfortunate truth that death was inevitable for the raccoon, as it is for all life, its passing wouldn't come as much as a shock.


interesting. thanks. i'll have to think on this but that's a starting point at least. i just find it easier to do as much good as i can and let everything else go while maintaining mindfulness. i've never been able to pull off much in the field of metta. hence my confusion.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:03 am

alan... wrote:interesting. thanks. i'll have to think on this but that's a starting point at least. i just find it easier to do as much good as i can and let everything else go while maintaining mindfulness. i've never been able to pull off much in the field of metta. hence my confusion.

No problem. I'm glad I could be of some help.

:namaste:
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:31 am

It is a Brahmavihara, not a Nibbanavihara.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:58 am

alan... wrote:the love of a mother for her child is an EXTREME attachment. how could developing this kind of love for all the beings in the world create anything but attachment to said beings?

don't get me wrong, surely it does not cause this otherwise the buddha wouldn't have taught it!

i just don't understand and was hoping someone could inform me.

the sutta says protect. it refers to how the mother would protect her child.

I understand the verse to say
7. Just as a mother protects her own child with her life, as though they were her only child, this limitless intention is nurtured in the same way in regard to all beings.
or in other words, the intent to protect is for our own good qualities, which are directed towards other beings.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby cooran » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:43 am

Hello alan, all,

This is the translation that we recite every weekend at Dhammagiri Forest Monastery:

Sn 1.8 PTS: Sn 143-152 Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness
translated from the Pali by The Amaravati Sangha (This sutta also appears at Khp 9.)

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows 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 or 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 beings 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 recollection.
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.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html

with metta
Chris
---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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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby ohnofabrications » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:33 pm

alan... wrote:the love of a mother for her child is an EXTREME attachment. how could developing this kind of love for all the beings in the world create anything but attachment to said beings?

don't get me wrong, surely it does not cause this otherwise the buddha wouldn't have taught it!

i just don't understand and was hoping someone could inform me.


It's like jhana it's fabricated, a skillful fabrication fabricated via skillful desire. Fabricated as part of the path until one is an arahant and no longer needs to fabricate emotions to get themselves to act in wholesome ways.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby mirco » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:28 am

alan... wrote:i just don't understand and was hoping someone could inform me.

I know this may sound a bit awkward, but maybe you have to be a mother or a least have to have a child to know this kind of emotion.

My son is nine by now, I had my time experiencing different attitudes and qualities of love.

Love for a child only 'works' properly if it is really openhearted and unconditional.

If you really love your child you have to let go of any clinging anyhow connected with that love.

Only if I give love without expecting anything at all, it works. Otherwise it creates suffering.


(-: My 2 cents
I get what I give
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:01 am

I heard a talk by Ajahn Thanissaro and he discussed Metta as being "goodwill" rather than "love" or "lovingkindness." This definition was helpful to me.

The idea is that a kind of overt love, or deep affection, such as one would show to one's child, would be an overreach in terms of the offering or expression of Metta to others. Ven. Thanissaro mentions that in some cases an expression of love is not appropriate, and might even not be welcomed by someone. He suggests the idea of goodwill, and this seems to be well in line with what the sutta proposes. To me, the sutta suggests that the protection of a mother toward her child is limitless, and similarly our willingness to work toward the unbinding of others should be limitless.
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:58 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:I heard a talk by Ajahn Thanissaro and he discussed Metta as being "goodwill" rather than "love" or "lovingkindness." This definition was helpful to me.

The idea is that a kind of overt love, or deep affection, such as one would show to one's child, would be an overreach in terms of the offering or expression of Metta to others. Ven. Thanissaro mentions that in some cases an expression of love is not appropriate, and might even not be welcomed by someone. He suggests the idea of goodwill, and this seems to be well in line with what the sutta proposes. To me, the sutta suggests that the protection of a mother toward her child is limitless, and similarly our willingness to work toward the unbinding of others should be limitless.

here is the text
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... dwill.html
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: how does metta not cause attachment?

Postby mirco » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:29 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:I heard a talk by Ajahn Thanissaro and he discussed Metta as being "goodwill" rather than "love" or "lovingkindness." This definition was helpful to me.

Yup. Lovingkindness is pretty missleading. It's more like friendliness.
Mettā (f.) [abstr. fr. mitra=mitta, compare Vedic maitraŋ.

Derived fr. mid to love, to be fat: "mejjati mettā siniyhatī ti attho"]

love, amity, sympathy, friendliness, active interest in others.
I get what I give
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