Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Maarten
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Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Maarten » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:51 pm

I have just returned from a visit at Muttodaya in Germany. I have been practicing by myself for about 5 years before this, so it's my first time meeting other buddhists and meditating with them. My main practise is metta and I was sending metta to the people in the hall which was very strong at some times.
Afterwards I got the idea that some of them knew I was sending them metta by their reactions. Could this be possible?

With metta :D

Maarten

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ryanM
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by ryanM » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:26 pm

I have no idea, but that's a beautiful thing nevertheless :)
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mikenz66
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:45 pm

I find that when I am particularly calm and sensitive (e.g. on retreats) I can "feel" how people are (agitated, calm, and so on). Not in a magical way, just taking the cues from their body language and tone without having to analyse it.

I've heard more than one teacher say that it's not really necessary to interview a student (me, for example). They can just watch how they walk in and tell their state of mind. Again, it's not magic.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:14 pm

The point of metta practice is not that it has an affect on other people, it's that it has an affect on you.

If other people feel it then it would be because they've noticed your attitude has changed.
“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

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:10 pm

Read the minds of others is easy and very natural. We just not doing it accurately.


Metta (Mettanisamsa) Sutta: Good Will
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Satti Sutta: The Spear
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Itivuttaka 22 - Metta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-022

Itivuttaka 27 - Mettabhavana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-027


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_anicca_
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by _anicca_ » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:13 am

I'm not sure. Can you be certain that this is not just mind playing games?

However, I will say that Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi says that he has felt waves of metta, sent by others, that have washed over him - just some anecdotal evidence.

:anjali:
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

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samseva
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by samseva » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:28 am

There are some stories of Thai forest monks and Tibetan monks and nuns where there was an encounter with a snake or some other dangerous animal. They then sent mettā which kept the animal calm or simply made the animal leave. With a hill of dangerous ants, where the monk accidently stepped on it (I think it was Ajahn Lee), the ants actually went around him rather than attack him.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:52 am

samseva wrote:There are some stories of Thai forest monks and Tibetan monks and nuns where there was an encounter with a snake or some other dangerous animal. They then sent mettā which kept the animal calm or simply made the animal leave. With a hill of dangerous ants, where the monk accidently stepped on it (I think it was Ajahn Lee), the ants actually went around him rather than attack him.
I remembered the Ahina Sutta

Ahina Sutta: By a Snake
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:55 am

Maarten wrote:Afterwards I got the idea that some of them knew I was sending them metta by their reactions. Could this be possible?
Perhaps they were picking up that you were feeling metta.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Ben » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:10 am

_anicca_ wrote:I'm not sure. Can you be certain that this is not just mind playing games?

However, I will say that Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi says that he has felt waves of metta, sent by others, that have washed over him - just some anecdotal evidence.

:anjali:
With respect, that is not evidence.

With respect to 'feeling' metta from others - I think it's far more likely that one feels metta but it is generated within oneself but attributed to an external agent.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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mikenz66
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:20 am

How about the elephant Nālāgiri?

http://www.aimwell.org/DPPN/nalagiri.html
... As the elephant was about to attack the child, the Buddha spoke to him, suffusing him with all the love at his command, and, stretching out his right hand, he stroked the animal’s forehead. Thrilling with joy at the touch, Nāḷāgiri sank on his knees before the Buddha, and the Buddha taught him the Dhamma. ...
See also: https://suttacentral.net/en/ea18.5

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Ben
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Ben » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:How about the elephant Nālāgiri?

http://www.aimwell.org/DPPN/nalagiri.html
... As the elephant was about to attack the child, the Buddha spoke to him, suffusing him with all the love at his command, and, stretching out his right hand, he stroked the animal’s forehead. Thrilling with joy at the touch, Nāḷāgiri sank on his knees before the Buddha, and the Buddha taught him the Dhamma. ...
See also: https://suttacentral.net/en/ea18.5

:anjali:
Mike
Possibly the animal was a tragic cuddle-junky.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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_anicca_
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by _anicca_ » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:20 am

Ben wrote:
_anicca_ wrote:I'm not sure. Can you be certain that this is not just mind playing games?

However, I will say that Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi says that he has felt waves of metta, sent by others, that have washed over him - just some anecdotal evidence.

:anjali:
With respect, that is not evidence.

With respect to 'feeling' metta from others - I think it's far more likely that one feels metta but it is generated within oneself but attributed to an external agent.
Perhaps evidence isn't the right word as I am skeptical of this claim myself.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

Maarten
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Maarten » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:23 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Maarten wrote:Afterwards I got the idea that some of them knew I was sending them metta by their reactions. Could this be possible?
Perhaps they were picking up that you were feeling metta.
Yes, this at least must have been the case. After the talk there was this old Lady just standing there smiling at me, almost like she is saying she knew. And as stated before, this Lady must have been very sensitive, and probably a very good meditator to be able to pick this up. As I don't think she had even seen me before.

Maarten
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Re: Can you feel it when someone sends you metta?

Post by Maarten » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:34 pm

ryanM wrote:I have no idea, but that's a beautiful thing nevertheless :)
Yes it is a beautiful idea. Maybe it would be wholesome to believe they can feel it, even if this may not be true? It would motivate the practise because you would be doing something more that just cultivating a mindstate, you would feel like you were actually making people happy.

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