May all beings be well and happy

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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D1W1
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May all beings be well and happy

Post by D1W1 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 am

Hi guys,

Everything connected with comfort, nice food, so to speak, is rooted in greed. Everything connected with dislike is rooted in hatred.

The short question is, how if I recite "may all beings be well and happy" and I feel warm feeling and experience peaceful mind. And then I recite it again because it brings mental pleasure. Can we say it's connected with greed therefore is not the right thing to do. Can anyone share your thought please, thank you.
Last edited by D1W1 on Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

SarathW
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:06 am

Can we say it's connected with greed?
No.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Aloka
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by Aloka » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:15 am

D1W1 wrote:
The short question is, how if I recite "may all beings be well and happy" and I feel warm feeling and experience peaceful mind. And then I recite it again because it brings mental pleasure. Can we say it's connected with greed? Can anyone share your thought please, thank you.

Hi D1W1,

Wishing happiness and good health for all sentient beings is a positive mental activity which can contribute to a more peaceful and open mind - and I can't see how it could be connected to greed. Have a look at this 5 minute video of Ajahn Jayasaro talking about Metta.





:anjali:

binocular
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:54 am

D1W1 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 am
Everything connected with comfort, nice food, so to speak, is rooted in greed. Everything connected with dislike is rooted in hatred.
Do you have a canonical reference for this?

For example:
021.07. Bhikkhus, these five are the benefits of drinking porridge. What five?

Hunger is appeased, thirst is appeased, the winds behave accordingly, the bladder gets washed out, the digested gets pushed out. Bhikkhus, these five are the benefits of drinking porridge.

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html
Doesn't seem to have anything to do with greed, even though it is connected with comfort and nice food.

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phil
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by phil » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:54 am

D1W1 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 am
Hi guys,

Everything connected with comfort, nice food, so to speak, is rooted in greed. Everything connected with dislike is rooted in hatred.

The short question is, how if I recite "may all beings be well and happy" and I feel warm feeling and experience peaceful mind. And then I recite it again because it brings mental pleasure. Can we say it's connected with greed therefore is not the right thing to do. Can anyone share your thought please, thank you.
Hi there

I think it's perceptive of you to observe that lobha ( usually translated as greed) can and probably is involved in it, technically speaking, if you are interested in all three baskets of the Buddha's teaching, including Abhidhamma you will come to appreciate that truly wholesome (kusala) states must be rooted in alobha, the opposite of lobha ( i. e detachment.) I certainly am aware of a lot of desire for emotional comfort, escape from discomfort involved when I "do" metta. Personally I don't concern myself with it. Detached or not, such reflections condition more harmless behavior, and being a busy householder that's what interests me most.

I suspect the moments of metta that arise during the day at unexpected times are closer to what the teachings mean by metta.

My opinion, a minority opinion here, I'm sure
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

paul
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by paul » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:53 am

Definition of loving-kindness:
"Metta (loving-kindness) is defined as follows: "Loving-kindness has the mode of friendliness (welfare) for its characteristic. Its natural function is to promote friendliness. It is manifested as the disappearance of ill-will. Its footing is seeing with kindness. When it succeeds it eliminates ill-will. When it fails it degenerates into selfish affectionate desire."---Vism. IX:93


Loving-kindness should be well protected from greed:

“The divine abiding of loving-kindness has greed as its near enemy,(14) since both share in seeing virtues. Greed behaves like a foe who keeps close by a man or woman, and it easily finds an opportunity. So loving-kindness should be well protected from it.

Note 14. Greed is the near enemy of loving-kindness since it is able to corrupt owing to its similarity, like an enemy masquerading as a friend.”
—-Visuddhimagga, IX:98

Loving-kindness requires careful development. The textual instruction for developing loving-kindness is designed to avoid lust and ill-will by utilizing specific people progressively, thereby strengthening its practice gradually on the right course:

“But this [initial development towards oneself] refers to [making oneself] an example. For even if he developed loving-kindness for a hundred or a thousand years in this way, “I am happy” and so on, absorption would never arise. But if he develops it in this way: “I am happy. Just as I want to be happy and dread pain, as I want to live and not to die, so do other beings, too,” making himself the example, then desire for other beings’ welfare and happiness arises in him. And this method is indicated by the Blessed One’s saying:
I visited all quarters with my mind
Nor found I any dearer than myself;
Self is likewise to every other dear;
Who loves himself will never harm another (S I 75; Ud 47).
11. So he should first, as example, pervade himself with loving-kindness. Next after that, in order to proceed easily, he can recollect such gifts, kind words, etc., as inspire love and endearment, such virtue, learning, etc., as inspire respect and reverence met with in a teacher or his equivalent or a preceptor or his equivalent, developing loving-kindness towards him in the way beginning, “May this good man be happy and free from suffering.” With such a person, of course, he attains absorption.
12. But if this bhikkhu does not rest content with just that much and wants to break down the barriers, he should next, after that, develop loving-kindness towards a very dearly loved friend, then towards a neutral person as a very dearly loved friend, then towards a hostile person as neutral. And while he does so, he should make his mind malleable and wieldy in each instance before passing on to the next.”—-Vism. IX:10
Last edited by paul on Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

JohnK
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by JohnK » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:22 pm

D1W1 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 am
...I recite "may all beings be well and happy" and I feel warm feeling and experience peaceful mind. And then I recite it again because it brings mental pleasure. Can we say it's connected with greed.
See the Bahuvedaniya Sutta (MN59).
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html
...There are five strands of sense desire. What are these five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desirable, agreeable and endearing, bound up with sensual desire and tempting to lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear... odors cognizable by the nose... flavors cognizable by the tongue... tangibles cognizable by the body, that are wished for, desirable, agreeable and endearing, bound up with sense desire, and tempting to lust. These are the five strands of sense desire. The pleasure and joy arising dependent on these five strands of sense desire, that is called sensual pleasure.

"Now, if someone were to say: 'This is the highest pleasure and joy that can be experienced,' I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is this pleasure? Here, quite secluded from sensual desires, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, a monk enters upon and abides in the first meditative absorption (jhana), which is accompanied by thought conception and discursive thinking and has in it joy and pleasure born of seclusion. This is the other kind of pleasure which surpasses that (sense) pleasure and is more sublime...
The sutta goes on the describe deeper and deeper pleasures associated with the path. Although this excerpt is about jhana, I think is is applicable to your concern. Deeper and deeper pleasures ("higher," "more sublime") are available on the path; it is natural for the mind to move toward deeper pleasure -- so pleasure is not a problem (unless of course it is "clung to," and I think such clinging may be part of the path in that the suffering associated with any clinging will become more apparent with increasing sensitivity, and so the clinging and its "displeasure" can be more readily seen and "let go").
"Why is it, Master Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?"
"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics" (AN 2: iv, 6, abridged).
Kindly eyes, not verbal daggers.

dhammapal
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Re: May all beings be well and happy

Post by dhammapal » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:45 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:As [the Buddha] actually said, the happiness lies in the actions — when you do something skillful, something noble. That’s where the real happiness lies: both because there’s a sense of well-being as you do the action — you realize that what you’re doing is not harming anybody — and in the sense that it’s going to produce happiness down the line, both for yourself and for others. In this sense, the Buddha wants you to take the pursuit of happiness seriously. You would think that people would stop and think about how they’re trying to be happy, but they don’t. They just follow their urges. This may be one of the reasons that happiness has bad press in some areas, because a lot of what people do when they’re trying to be happy is to block out huge patches of reality so that they can just focus on what they like, and pretend that what they’re doing has no impact aside from the immediate sensation of pleasure.
From: The Meaning of Happiness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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