Metta and dukkha

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Haniver
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Metta and dukkha

Post by Haniver » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:13 pm

Hello, friends. I have a doubt, best explained by syllogisms:

P1. Metta is conditioned
P2. Everything that is conditioned, is dukkha
Therefore, metta is dukkha.

P3. Metta is dukkha
P4. Arahants don't have dukkha
Therefore, arahants don't have metta.

But the Buddha, being an arahant, had metta. Where is my reasoning wrong?

SarathW
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by SarathW » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:52 pm

It is important that you comprehend Brahamavihara as a whole.
Metta, Kauna, Mudita and Upekkha.
Understanding Upekkha is the answer to your question.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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daverupa
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by daverupa » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:43 pm

Haniver wrote:Where is my reasoning wrong?
Metta is a support for the mind, a component of the Path. Now:
SN 45.165 wrote:“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of suffering. What three? Suffering due to pain, suffering due to formations, suffering due to change. These are the three kinds of suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three kinds of suffering, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.
So, the Path is conditioned (and thus metta et al) but it is the way to the unconditioned.

An arahant will continue to engage the Path as a component of their pleasant abiding while awaiting the final aggregate breakup. Notice here that, despite the suffering due to change, an arahant will not experience this as dukkha because of their lack of ignorance.

Your mistake lies in applying P2 mechanically, without an understanding of the how of it. We could say that these dukkhas only exist for those who have not yet seen the arising & ceasing of such things, their attraction & danger & escape - simply, they lack wisdom.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Goofaholix
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:18 pm

Haniver wrote:Where is my reasoning wrong?
Try this...
P1. Metta is conditioned, in those who have not experienced the unconditioned,
P2. Conditionality is dukkha,
P3. Metta and Conditionality are two different factors,
P4. Arahants don't experience dukkha,
P5 Therefore in arahants, metta is unconditioned.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

Haniver
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by Haniver » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:33 pm

Thank you all, my friends.
daverupa wrote: Your mistake lies in applying P2 mechanically, without an understanding of the how of it. We could say that these dukkhas only exist for those who have not yet seen the arising & ceasing of such things, their attraction & danger & escape - simply, they lack wisdom.
That makes it very clear :jumping:

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samseva
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by samseva » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:44 am

Simple deductive reasoning is not always the best, especially for very nuanced and complex things such as dukkha and conditionality regarding all of existence. It takes more than three sentences comprising of only 13 words to represent something like this. :smile:

However, regarding pleasent feelings, they are dukkha because they cause pain when they change.
(1) suffering as pain (dukkha-dukkhatā), (2) the suffering inherent in the formations (sankhāra-dukkhatā), (3) the suffering in change (vipariṇāma- dukkhatā)” (S. XLV, 165; D. 33).

(1) is the bodily or mental feeling of pain as actually felt. (2) refers to the oppressive nature of all form- ations of existence (i.e. all conditioned phenomena),due to their continual arising and passing away; this includes also experiences associated with neutral feeling. (3) refers to bodily and mental pleasant feelings, “because they are the cause for the arising of pain when they change” (Vis.M. XIV, 34f).
It could also be from continuous change (2 in the quote above), since incessant changing formations is a source of pain. The Buddha compared this to a skinless cow being eaten and biten by various insects and creatures.
And how, O monks, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered? Suppose, O monks, there is a skinned cow that stands close to a wall, then the creatures living in the wall will nibble at the cow; and if the skinned cow stands near a tree, then the creatures living in the tree will nibble at it; if it stands in the water, the creatures living in the water will nibble at it; if it stands in the open air, the creatures living in the air will nibble at it. Wherever that skinned cow stands, the creatures living there will nibble at it.
— SN 12.63

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Aloka
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Re: Metta and dukkha

Post by Aloka » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:33 am

Hi Haniver,

This quote from "Broad View, Boundless Heart" by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro might be helpful for your understanding of the development of Metta :

Metta succeeds when it causes ill will to subside and fails when it brings about affection. Using the word metta is more useful as it does not have the connotations of affection and attachment that the word loving-kindness has. Metta is a selfless wishing of happiness and well being for others.

The brahmaviharas have so-called near and far enemies—obstructions to their correct development.The near enemy of metta is greed or attachment, since happiness and well being could become coveted.That leads to pain and sorrow and could even turn into a defilement if not correctly understood.When we experience something pleasing, we tend
to want it, but to really practice metta is to wish for the well being of others and not to try to possess them. The same goes for cultivating metta towards oneself, to try not to cling to feelings of joy and well being generated by the practice of meditation. So the near enemy to metta is when the heart moves too close to something and then it shifts from being loving-kindness to greed and grasping.

The far enemy of metta is anger. Bearing anger, ill will, or aversion is, of course, inimical to loving-kindness, but it is far enough away to recognize such feelings. Being more insidious, the near enemies are more dangerous.When you are angry, you try to deal with it or try to remove it, but when you are delighting in something, your mind tends not to be clear enough to see that you have come too close to the object. In terms of cultivating loving-kindness, you have to know and be aware of these aspects that are related to and define the quality of metta, and to use them as boundaries to work within.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Ajahn ... _Heart.pdf

:anjali:

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