Metta embraces all beings and all conditions, without exception.
I have posted this you tube seveal times before, having enjoyed the chant. This is a newer you tube but the Metta chant is once again by Emee Ooi.
Metta, which can be translated from Pali as ‘love’ or ‘loveliness’ is the true nature of metta. Everything in the world can blossom and grow with the power of metta. When we look deep into our hearts and find our own ‘metta,’ we can then open our hearts to all. Metta is the first of the brahma-viharas, the seat of the heavenly abodes. The others are compassion, sympathetic joy or gladness and equanimity – all of these emotions steam from metta.
Metta refers to a strength of heart that can stay steady in the face of pleasant and unpleasant circumstances. Sometimes we may not feel warm-hearted, yet with deep commitment to no hatred and dedication to care for all beings we express loving kindness and the intention of good will in challenging circumstances.
What is the purpose of metta practice?
The Buddha first taught loving kindness to a small number of monks who were practising meditation in a thick forest haunted by tree spirits. The monks were terrified of spirits and wanted to go somewhere else, but the Buddha told them to stay, with instructions to cultivate metta. As the monks became skilled in metta, the tree spirits stopped their harassment of the monks and began to appreciate their presence. They went so far as to serve the monks during their retreat. The Buddha had already told them that he would protect them from all harm and he had. What actually happened, was the loving energy that vibrated from the meditating monks, had good results on the trees spirits, who were lifted by the beauty of the peacefulness. The Buddha’s ministry continued with excellent results in metta. He taught metta to a wide variety of students and in a number of distinct situations. He taught metta as a method for gladdening the mind, as a way of strengthening concentration, as an offering of generosity, as a way of meeting both verbal and physical abuse, as a way of overcoming fear and as a way of living in concord in community. Metta is a heartful practice that serves profound purposes.
Tibetan hanging painting symbolising a state of exalted consciousness, surrounded by subsidiary states.
(c.1800 Gouache on cloth.)
stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.
I have to thank Sharon Salzberg for this poem. It appears in her book ‘Loving Kindness’