The Meaning Of Metta – youtube Imee Ooi Metta in Pali

Metta – loving kindness Imee Ooi

I am hoping to add another page to my blog about the Buddhist teaching of Metta. (Loving Kindness) It is a teaching most of us can benefit from.   According to the cosmology of Buddhism there are numberless world- systems inhabited by infinitely varied categories of beings in different stages of evolution. Our earth is only a speck in our world-system, which again is a minute dot in the universe with its innumerable world-systems. Towards all beings everywhere one should radiate thoughts of boundless love. This is developed in the next method of practice, the universalization of metta.

The universalization of metta is effected in these three specific modes:

l. generalized radiation (anodhiso-pharana),
2. specified radiation (odhiso-pharana),
3. directional radiation (disa-pharana).

According to the Patisambhidamagga, the generalized radiation of metta is practiced in five ways, the specified radiation in seven ways, and the directional radiation in ten ways. These ten directional ways may be combined with the five categories of general radiation and with the seven categories of specified radiation, as we will show. In each of these modes of practice, any of the four phrases of the standard metta formula — “May they be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily” — may be used as the thought of radiation. Thus four types of thought applied to five, seven, and 120 objects of metta amount to 528 modes of radiation. Any of these can be used as a vehicle for attaining absorption (jhana) through the technique of metta-bhavana.


Generalized Radiation

The five ways of generalized radiation are as follows:

l. “May all beings (sabbe satta) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.” 2. “May all those that breathe (sabbe pana) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

3. “May all creatures (sabbe bhuta) be free from hostility, free from affliction. free from distress; may they live happily.”

4. “May all those with individual existence (sabbe puggala) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

5. “May all those who are embodied (sabbe attabhavapariyapanna) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

Specified Radiation

The seven ways of specified radiation are as follows:

1. “May all females (sabba itthiyo) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.” 2. “May all males (sabbe purisa) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

3. “May all the Noble Ones (sabbe ariya) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

4. “May all worldlings (sabbe anariya) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

5. “May all gods (sabbe deva) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

6. “May all human beings (sabbe manussa) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

7. “May all those in states of woe (sabbe vinipatika) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

Directional Radiation

The ten ways of directional radiation involve sending thoughts of metta to all beings in the ten directions. This method, in its basic form, is applied to the class of beings (satta), the first of the five generalized objects of metta. But it can be developed further by extending metta through each of the five ways of generalized radiation and the seven ways of specified radiation, as we will see.

I.
1. “May all beings in the eastern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

2. “May all beings in the western direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

3. “May all beings in the northern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

4. “May all beings in the southern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

5. “May all beings in the northeastern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

6. “May all beings in the southwestern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

7. “May all beings in the northwestern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

8. “May all beings in the southeastern direction be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

9. “May all beings below (in the downward direction) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

10. “May all beings above (in the upward direction) be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

II.
“May all those that breathe life in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

III.
“May all creatures in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

IV.
1-10. “May all those with individual existence in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

V.
“May all those who are embodied in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

VI.
“May all females in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

VII.
“May all males in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

VIII.
“May all Noble Ones in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

IX.
“May all worldlings in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

X.
“May all gods in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

XI.
“May all human beings in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

XII.
“May all those in states of woe in the eastern direction… above be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress; may they live happily.”

Explanation

In this technique of universalizing metta, each of the five categories of generalized radiation refers to the total dimension of animate, sentient, or organic existence, belonging to the three mundane spheres, namely, the kamaloka, the sphere of sensory existence where desire is the primal motivation; the rupaloka, the realm of the radiant Brahma gods with subtle form; and the arupaloka, the realm of the formless beings with pure mental life. Whether it is a “being,” or that which “breathes,” or a “creature,” or that which has “individual existence,” or that which “is embodied” — all refer to the totality of animate existence, the distinction being that each term expresses comprehensively a certain aspect of life in its entirety.

While visualizing each category one should keep in mind the specific aspect expressed by its designation. If one trains the mind in the manner of a “mental drill” after having exercised it with the first two methods, the meaning of the five unspecified or generalized terms will become clear. By the time one has completed the two methods, the consciousness will be sufficiently developed and all-embracing. And with such a consciousness, when each of these universal concepts is grasped, the universalization becomes effortless. It may be pointed out that visualization of each of these is no longer of individual objects, but of a concept which is total and all-embracing. The radiation in this case becomes a “flowing out” of love in abundant measure towards the conceptualized mental object — all beings, all creatures, etc.

Each of the seven categories of specified radiation comprehends a part of the total range of life, and in combination with the others expresses the whole. Itthi refers to the female principle in general, incorporating all females among the devas, human beings, animals, demons, spirits and denizens of hell. Purisa means the male principle evident in all the spheres of existence, and both itthi and purisa together comprehend the entirety. Again, from another angle, the ariyas or the spiritually transformed seers, and the anariyas or worldlings bound to the wheel of becoming, comprehend the totality. Ariyas are those who have entered the transcendental path; they are to be found in the human world and the celestial worlds and therefore they constitute the tip of the pyramid of sentient existence. Worldlings are in all the spheres of existence and constitute the body of the pyramid from the base to the tip, so to say. Likewise, the three categories of deva, manussa and vinipatika — gods, human beings, and those fallen into states of woe — comprehend the totality in terms of cosmological status. Devas, the radiant celestial beings, comprise the upper layer, human beings the middle layer, and vinipatikas the lower layer of the cosmological mound.

The “mental drill” in terms of directional radiation, the radiation of metta to the above twelve categories of beings in the ten directions, makes the universalization of metta a most exhilarating experience. As one mentally places oneself in a particular direction and then lets love flow out and envelop the entire region, one literally transports the mind to the sublimest heights leading to samadhi, concentrated absorption of the mind.

When one projects this total wish for others to dwell happily, free from hostility, affliction and distress, not only does one elevate oneself to a level where true happiness prevails, but one sets in motion powerful vibrations conducing to happiness, cooling off enmity, relieving affliction and distress. It will be seen, therefore, that universal love simultaneously infuses well-being and happiness and removes the mental and physical suffering caused by the mental pollutants of hostility, enmity and anger.

For detailed teachings about metta please visit:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/buddharakkhita/wheel365.html#ch2