Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

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Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 03, 2017 12:17 pm

Greetings,

There is a specific sutta I am seeking, and I hope someone may recall it and be able to share it with us.

The sutta starts with a standard metta cultivation, but as the sutta progresses, the focus switches to observance of the emptiness or impermanence of the sankharas created (through the metta cultivation?). The sutta may (but I am not 100% sure) regard such things as a dart, alien etc. to be removed.

Either way, the insight aspect of the cultivation is then pursued through to arahantship.

The sutta is unique in the sense that it shows of a metta practice which is fully liberative, not merely one that takes the yogi up to the fourth jhana.

Does anyone recall this sutta or have a link or reference number for it? I have some vague recollection that it may be from the Anguttara Nikaya but I may just be making that up.

(I recall the sutta being stored at the original Dharma Paths forum, but alas, it is no more. I regret that I have been neglectful in not referencing/storing it properly. Any help anyone can provide to help re-find the sutta would be greatly appreciated...)

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by aflatun » Wed May 03, 2017 1:53 pm

Good morning Retro:

Metta Sutta AN 4.126
There is the case where an individual keeps pervading the first direction — as well as the second direction, the third, & the fourth — with an awareness imbued with good will. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, & all around, everywhere & in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. At the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in conjunction with the devas of the Pure Abodes. This rebirth is not in common with run-of-the-mill people.
A related sutta is Metta Sutta 4.125:
There is the case where an individual keeps pervading the first direction[1] — as well as the second direction, the third, & the fourth — with an awareness imbued with good will. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, & all around, everywhere & in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will. He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that. Staying there — fixed on that, dwelling there often, not falling away from that — then when he dies he reappears in conjunction with the devas of Brahma's retinue. The devas of Brahma's retinue, monks, have a life-span of an eon. A run-of-the-mill person having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, goes to hell, to the animal womb, to the state of the hungry shades. But a disciple of the Blessed One, having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, is unbound right in that state of being. This, monks, is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor, between an educated disciple of the noble ones and an uneducated run-of-the-mill person, when there is a destination, a reappearing.
The first passage seems to imply the practice of insight + metta leading to the Pure Abodes, the second passage the practice of metta leading to rebirth in the Brahma world and from there being Unbound.

I remember the passage (passages?) you're talking about where metta +insight can take you "all the way" in this life, so to speak, but I can't find it right now!

EDIT: Another relevant sutta with notes at the bottom that link to various other suttas about metta:

Metta Sutta SN 46.54
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

There is a specific sutta I am seeking, and I hope someone may recall it and be able to share it with us.

The sutta starts with a standard metta cultivation, but as the sutta progresses, the focus switches to observance of the emptiness or impermanence of the sankharas created (through the metta cultivation?). The sutta may (but I am not 100% sure) regard such things as a dart, alien etc. to be removed.

Either way, the insight aspect of the cultivation is then pursued through to arahantship.

The sutta is unique in the sense that it shows of a metta practice which is fully liberative, not merely one that takes the yogi up to the fourth jhana.

Does anyone recall this sutta or have a link or reference number for it? I have some vague recollection that it may be from the Anguttara Nikaya but I may just be making that up.

(I recall the sutta being stored at the original Dharma Paths forum, but alas, it is no more. I regret that I have been neglectful in not referencing/storing it properly. Any help anyone can provide to help re-find the sutta would be greatly appreciated...)

Metta,
Paul. :)
Last edited by aflatun on Wed May 03, 2017 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by aflatun » Wed May 03, 2017 2:07 pm

Maybe this one was what we were remembering:

Dasama Sutta AN 11.17
"Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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cjmacie
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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by cjmacie » Wed May 03, 2017 7:32 pm

.
For that matter, the Karaniya Sutta itself outlines the whole path -- sila - samadhi - panna...

(Overview)
"This is to be done by one skilled in aims who wants to break through to the state of peace:"

(Sila)
"Be capable, upright, & straightforward, ... Do not do the slightest thing that the wise would later censure."

(Samadhi)
"Think: Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart....This is called a sublime abiding here & now. "

(Panna & pativedha)
"Not taken with views, but virtuous & consummate in vision, having subdued desire for sensual pleasures, one never again will lie in the womb."

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by JohnK » Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 pm

Not pointing directly to a sutta, but to a strong chapter called "Metta and Relinquishment" in Ajahn Pasanno's strong book Abundant, Exalted, Immeasurable. The clip from the chapter that is quoted under the chapter title is:
For loving-kindness to manifest fully and come to fruition, we need to undermine the fundamental roots of attachment, defilement, and clinging.
That's page 115 of the book.
I believe he is referring there to last few lines of the Metta Sutta.
http://www.abhayagiri.org/books/abundan ... measurable
You can get a pdf from the site.
"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.

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 03, 2017 9:59 pm

Greetings aflutun,

Thanks! AN 4.126 was the one I was thinking of.

:twothumbsup:

As opposed to arahantship in this life per se, it leads to noble rebirth in the pure abodes, which, as AN 4.125 suggests, will see unbinding take place there. It's rare (possibly not even mentioned once?) for a noble born in higher realms to reborn as human or lower. Honestly, that sounds like a pretty tolerable 'rebirth'. 8-)

I shall celebrate the rediscovery of my preferred metta instruction by practicing according to these instructions from the Buddha at the first available opportunity.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by perkele » Wed May 03, 2017 10:36 pm

cjmacie wrote:.
For that matter, the Karaniya Sutta itself outlines the whole path -- sila - samadhi - panna...

(Overview)
"This is to be done by one skilled in aims who wants to break through to the state of peace:"

(Sila)
"Be capable, upright, & straightforward, ... Do not do the slightest thing that the wise would later censure."

(Samadhi)
"Think: Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart....This is called a sublime abiding here & now. "

(Panna & pativedha)
"Not taken with views, but virtuous & consummate in vision, having subdued desire for sensual pleasures, one never again will lie in the womb."
Very good for pointing out. :thumbsup:
There is a nice short motivating exposition on this by Ven. Nyanadassana here, especially the section From mettā Jhāna to nibbāna on the last part seems to be pertinent to this topic.

(For more in-depth elaborations on how to develop brahma-viharas, Mahasi Sayadaw's Brahma-vihara Dhamma is extremely verbose in illustrating seemingly every possible aspect to think of. - just a general recommendation for reference thrown in here, as a complementary resource to the relatively curt overview provided by Ven. Nyanadassana's exposition.)

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by perkele » Wed May 03, 2017 10:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:The sutta starts with a standard metta cultivation, but as the sutta progresses, the focus switches to observance of the emptiness or impermanence of the sankharas created (through the metta cultivation?). The sutta may (but I am not 100% sure) regard such things as a dart, alien etc. to be removed.
Ven. Thanissaro elucidates in his Beyond all Directions - Essays on the Buddhist path:
The Limits of the Unlimited Attitudes - The Brahmaviharas on the Path to Awakening wrote:As for discernment, the Canon contains two types of discussions on how the concentration based on the brahmavihāras can act as a basis for discernment. The first type focuses on how a meditator should contemplate the concentration that results from any of the brahmavihāras. In two cases, the Canon recommends reflecting like this (taking goodwill as an example): "One reflects on this [state of concentration] and discerns, 'This awareness-release through goodwill is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated &intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.'" (MN 52; AN 11:17) In another case, the recommended reflection is this: "One regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, &consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self." (AN 4:126)

In both cases, the realization that these refined states of concentration are inconstant, stressful, and not-self can give rise to a sense of dispassion and disenchantment not only for them, but also for all fabricated things. The sense of dispassion can then lead to all-around release.

The second type of discussion on the relationship between discernment and the brahmavihāras (SN 46:54) focuses on the mental qualities that can be combined with the concentration based on the brahmavihāras to lead it beyond the four jhānas. These qualities are the seven factors for awakening — mindfulness, analysis of qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, concentration, and equanimity — brought to a heightened pitch so that they are "dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go." Ordinarily, the seven factors for awakening are used to give rise to jhāna, but the fact that in this case they are dependent on dispassion and cessation means that they have been refined through the contemplations mentioned in the first type of discussion: in other words, the sort of contemplation that leads through dispassion to release. For instance, you can develop a state of jhāna based on one of the brahmavihāras and then — in light of your realization that it's fabricated or stressful — analyze its qualities as they're actually present to develop this knowledge to the level of insight where you're really willing to let go.

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by aflatun » Thu May 04, 2017 4:16 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings aflutun,

Thanks! AN 4.126 was the one I was thinking of.

:twothumbsup:

As opposed to arahantship in this life per se, it leads to noble rebirth in the pure abodes, which, as AN 4.125 suggests, will see unbinding take place there. It's rare (possibly not even mentioned once?) for a noble born in higher realms to reborn as human or lower. Honestly, that sounds like a pretty tolerable 'rebirth'. 8-)

I shall celebrate the rediscovery of my preferred metta instruction by practicing according to these instructions from the Buddha at the first available opportunity.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Glad to be of help my friend! A tolerable birth indeed :twothumbsup:

When viewed with a relatively unbiased eye what the suttas have to say about brahmaviharas and "how far" they can take us on the path is a fascination of mine, it often makes me wonder if this approach hasn't been largely short changed and inappropriately subordinated to other modalities in various quarters, most of all my own personal quarters :tongue:

happy practice!

metta

aflatun
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by bodom » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:04 pm

Thanks for this thread and all the replies. I was actually just now trying to locate this sutta as well and found a link on google bringing me here.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:15 pm

Greetings Bodom,

Excellent! I keep forgetting about the existence of this sutta, which is really unfortunate because it delivers excellent results, and is a great bhavana exercise for a lay practitioner to engage in. So thank you for reminding me and us of it.

To avoid losing it again, I've added the link to the sutta as my "website" on my profile...

:meditate:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by bodom » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:30 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:15 pm
Greetings Bodom,

Excellent! I keep forgetting about the existence of this sutta, which is really unfortunate because it delivers excellent results, and is a great bhavana exercise for a lay practitioner to engage in. So thank you for reminding me and us of it.

To avoid losing it again, I've added the link to the sutta as my "website" on my profile...

:meditate:

Metta,
Paul. :)
Thanks for starting the thread. It is a very simple, profound and most importantly practical sutta.
One could base their entire meditation practice around this. :sage:

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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Re: Looking for a specific sutta on metta...

Post by binocular » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:15 pm
To avoid losing it again, I've added the link to the sutta as my "website" on my profile...
You don't have a notebook in which to make notes from suttas important for you?

https://readingfaithfully.org/37-2/

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