The purpose of cultivating Metta?

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

Post by reflection » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:20 am

danieLion wrote: Sorry. I meant what's the textual/teachings of the Buddha basis/source/justification, etc....
Not everything needs have to have a textual reference. But this is a common rendition.
Mettañca sabba-lokasmiṃ
māna-sambhāvaye aparimāṇaṃ,
With good will for the entire cosmos, cultivate a limitless heart
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#metta" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Metta - The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love

Cultivate an all-embracing mind of love
For all throughout the universe
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


The strongest metta is universal and does not pick and choose.


Metta has nothing to do with love.
While I also agree with your translations, I do not agree on this and still think loving-kindness is a very nice translation.
Maybe this quote gives a better understanding:
The Pali word metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Metta,
Reflection

Otsom
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by Otsom » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:06 am

.
Last edited by Otsom on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Paññāsikhara
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:55 am

Otsom wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote: Thanks for this. ;)

May I ask where you got the file from?
Hi Venerable!

I downloaded the pdf file from your Prajnacara Blog, perhaps a couple of months ago. I just checked and a Google search still shows it, but the linked page doesn't exist anymore. I edited away the footnote numbers and chinese characters from that quote before posting it here.

I apologize if my use of your draft text wasn't appropriate.
Hi,

Thanks, I'm flattered. It was entirely appropriate - I put it on my blog after all!
The recent take down was because I'm moving into the later stages of the translation,
and don't want half baked versions floating around. haha!
Just glad it is of use to some people!

~~ Huifeng
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Aloka
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by Aloka » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:34 pm

danieLion wrote:
Aloka wrote:Hi Coyote,

There's a nice little article 'Universal Loving Kindness' by Ajahn Sumedho...
Hi Aloka,
"Loving-kindness" is a horrible translation of metta, and where does this "universal" nonsense come from?
Daniel :heart:
Hi daniel

I offered the transcript of an Ajahn Sumedho talk, because I thought it might be helpful.

Ajahn Sumedho is a wonderful teacher offline and so I find your comments of 'horrible' and 'nonsense' relating to his words to be quite offensive and will therefore decline to join in any further discussion in this topic.

kind regards,

Aloka

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mikenz66
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:26 pm

Aloka wrote: Ajahn Sumedho is a wonderful teacher offline and so I find your comments of 'horrible' and 'nonsense' relating to his words to be quite offensive and will therefore decline to join in any further discussion in this topic.
It certainly strikes me as odd, the context of a thread on "The purpose of cultivating Metta" to dismiss Ajahn Sumedho's thoughtful exposition with such mean-hearted adjectives. A little more care and kindness in the discussion would be appreciated.

:anjali:
Mike

danieLion
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:11 am

Aloka wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Aloka wrote:Hi Coyote,

There's a nice little article 'Universal Loving Kindness' by Ajahn Sumedho...
Hi Aloka,
"Loving-kindness" is a horrible translation of metta, and where does this "universal" nonsense come from?
Daniel :heart:
Hi daniel

I offered the transcript of an Ajahn Sumedho talk, because I thought it might be helpful.

Ajahn Sumedho is a wonderful teacher offline and so I find your comments of 'horrible' and 'nonsense' relating to his words to be quite offensive and will therefore decline to join in any further discussion in this topic.

kind regards,

Aloka
I didn't say Ajahn Sumedho was horrible or full of nonsense. I'm sure Ven. Sumedho wouldn't take it so personally.
May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:
Last edited by danieLion on Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

danieLion
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:15 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Aloka wrote: Ajahn Sumedho is a wonderful teacher offline and so I find your comments of 'horrible' and 'nonsense' relating to his words to be quite offensive and will therefore decline to join in any further discussion in this topic.
It certainly strikes me as odd, the context of a thread on "The purpose of cultivating Metta" to dismiss Ajahn Sumedho's thoughtful exposition with such mean-hearted adjectives. A little more care and kindness in the discussion would be appreciated.

:anjali:
Mike
Like I told Aloka, I didn't call Ven. Sumedho horrible or full of nonsense.
I didn't dismiss Ven. Sumedho's thoughtful exposition (aren't all his exposition's thoughtful).
Do you really think the adjective "horrible" is inherently mean-hearted?
May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:

danieLion
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:45 am

Aloka wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Aloka wrote:Hi Coyote,

There's a nice little article 'Universal Loving Kindness' by Ajahn Sumedho...
Hi Aloka,
"Loving-kindness" is a horrible translation of metta, and where does this "universal" nonsense come from?
Daniel :heart:
Hi daniel

I offered the transcript of an Ajahn Sumedho talk, because I thought it might be helpful.

Ajahn Sumedho is a wonderful teacher offline and so I find your comments of 'horrible' and 'nonsense' relating to his words to be quite offensive and will therefore decline to join in any further discussion in this topic.

kind regards,

Aloka
Here's Ajahn Sumedho talking about metta as good-will.
As we begin to understand the mind more and more, and abide in the purity of being in the present, we can feel a kind of goodwill, or metta, towards all creatures. I like this word ‘goodwill’, because metta is a very positive radiance of mind where you’re radiating goodwill outwards, you’re wishing people well and what is good. It’s a generous act, a giving forth – willing that which is good towards people. We have this power to will things, don’t we...?

This isn’t clinical Buddhism. This is a practice, a devotional practice from the heart rather than from the intellect. But we need both: one doesn’t cancel out the other. Sometimes in religion we tend to think that either it’s all love or it’s all wisdom. ‘God is love, everything is love, the way is love’ – that’s the heartfelt form of religious experience. And then, the way of wisdom: that can seem like impersonal, cold-hearted analysis of the mind, and we feel a sense of loss in regards to the intuitive feelings of love, compassion. But remember that we’re transcending, we’re not attaching to love and compassion as ends in themselves, nor to wisdom. It’s the way of non-attachment, so that both are valid practices. If you have just a practice of love and compassion alone, without wisdom, there’s no way of understanding things as they are. You’re merely developing a way of loving-radiance. So when it comes to being able to explain, or to fully understand the truth of the way it is, you don’t know it. All you can do is practise your devotions, and that often tends towards to a sliding back into superstition, rites and rituals. If it’s not combined with wisdom, it becomes merely a series of rituals and rites, and one starts feeling guilty if one isn’t praying every day, or radiating metta throughout the universe. All these can become very fixed in the mind if you haven’t developed wisdom to understand the nature of the mind.
http://amitabhabuddha.wordpress.com/201 ... hn-sumedo/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There's also some good stuff in the rest of the piece on the relationship of metta to love, liking and wisdom.
Daniel :heart:

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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:17 am

danieLion wrote: Like I told Aloka, I didn't call Ven. Sumedho horrible or full of nonsense.
I didn't dismiss Ven. Sumedho's thoughtful exposition (aren't all his exposition's thoughtful).
Do you really think the adjective "horrible" is inherently mean-hearted?
May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:
Yes, but it certainly sounded very dismissive since it was the only thing you said about Aloka's post.

There are a variety of translations of Pali terms. Calling them "horrible" isn't conducive to positive conversation, as is obvious from Aloka's reaction.

May your heart be full of loving kindness, or whatever translation you prefer...

:heart:
:hug:
Mike

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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by Coyote » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:34 pm

I just want to thank everyone for the interesting dicussion that this question has generated and for the contributions that have been given by all.
In light of what has been written, would it be fair to say that the Theravada understanding is that while cultivating Metta can help supress the three poisons (as well as other practices targeting Attachment and Ignorance), only Panna, via Vipassana into the four noble truths, three characteristics ect. can elimate them entirley and so lead to Nibbana?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

danieLion
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:47 pm

Coyote wrote:I just want to thank everyone for the interesting dicussion that this question has generated and for the contributions that have been given by all.
In light of what has been written, would it be fair to say that the Theravada understanding is that while cultivating Metta can help supress the three poisons (as well as other practices targeting Attachment and Ignorance), only Panna, via Vipassana into the four noble truths, three characteristics ect. can elimate them entirley and so lead to Nibbana?
"The Theravada" is too broad. Plus, metta-bhavana involves all of the above, and as such can lead beyond mere suppression to total liberation. Think of metta-bhavana as an essential part of the "whole package." Have you ever heard of a mean-willed, non-compassionate, non-empathetic, non-equanimous awakened person?
May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:

danieLion
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:56 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
danieLion wrote: Like I told Aloka, I didn't call Ven. Sumedho horrible or full of nonsense.
I didn't dismiss Ven. Sumedho's thoughtful exposition (aren't all his exposition's thoughtful).
Do you really think the adjective "horrible" is inherently mean-hearted?
May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:
Yes, but it certainly sounded very dismissive since it was the only thing you said about Aloka's post.

There are a variety of translations of Pali terms. Calling them "horrible" isn't conducive to positive conversation, as is obvious from Aloka's reaction.

May your heart be full of loving kindness, or whatever translation you prefer...

:heart:
:hug:
Mike
How does cyber-text sound? If were to be "dismissive," I would have ignored Aloka's post completely. Now I've "said" a lot about Aloka's post. Please clarify "positive conversation." How is helping someone become less mis-informed not a positive conversation? Perhaps the negativity isn't coming from me?

May you grow fat with unbounded friendliness.
D :heart:

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mikenz66
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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:41 am

danieLion wrote: If were to be "dismissive," I would have ignored Aloka's post completely.
Yes, you've moved on since then. Thanks.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by danieLion » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:37 am

Regarding "love", Ajahn Sumedho's close associate, Ajahn Amaro (starting at 7:15 to about 9:00), has these clarifying words in his talk on metta.
The word love in English is a loaded term.... There are many different attributes to it. And so when you see translations of the Buddha's teachings to English--say one of the categorical definitions of...the causes of suffering..., association with the unloved/disliked and separation from the loved/liked is suffering. So how can this be related [snickers a little]? If loving-kindness is exalted, abundant, immeasurable, how can it then be that separation for the loved is a cause for suffering?

So it can be helpful if we reflect on the different ways the heart loves things..., holds things...

[skipping to about 12:15]

The Buddha said when we have this kind of possessive love based on self and other, and a sense of ownership and clinging involved, than necessarily that's going to produce suffering....
source: http://www.audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/822.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Regarding metta as good-will over metta as loving-kindness, see, Ven. Thanissaro's Metta Means Good-Will at:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... odwill.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The purpose of cultivating Metta?

Post by cooran » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:59 am

cooran wrote:
Metta - The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love by Acharya Buddharakkhita

The Pali word metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. The Pali commentators define metta as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others (parahita-parasukha-kamana). Essentially metta is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest. Through metta one refuses to be offensive and renounces bitterness, resentment and animosity of every kind, developing instead a mind of friendliness, accommodativeness and benevolence which seeks the well-being and happiness of others. True metta is devoid of self-interest. It evokes within a warm-hearted feeling of fellowship, sympathy and love, which grows boundless with practice and overcomes all social, religious, racial, political and economic barriers. Metta is indeed a universal, unselfish and all-embracing love. [……………………………………]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mettā: 'Lit: friendliness' or 'loving-kindness', is one of the 4 sublime abodes brahma-vihāra.
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... m.htm#mett" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;ā

Mettā
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... .3:10.pali" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Hello all,

Some additional references:

Facets of Metta – Sharon Salzberg
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha073.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Loving-kindness (Metta Bhavana) - Six on-line .pdf’s
http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/en/thum ... ?album=103" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What is Love – Ajahn Brahmavamso (Audio Talk)
http://buddhanet.net/audio-talks.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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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