The Wonders of Bayeux – Photography

photos by Eve

 

 

Construction of Bayeux Cathedral began in the Roman period, under Bishop Hugues, to continue under William the Conqueror’s brother, Bishop Odo (11th Century). Following serious fire damage during the 12th Century, the cathedral was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 13th Century. Construction of the central tower began in the 15th Century, under Bishop Louis d’Harcourt, to be completed only in the 19th Century following major work by Eugène Flachat.

 

 

 

Excerted from an interview with Ram Dass. A Conversation with Ram Dass by David Ulrich 2017 for Parabola Magazine.

“The soul is not part of the incarnation. It comes into the incarnation. And the soul is not afraid of death because it has done it so many times. And now the ego is individual, and the world at this moment is ruled by nations which are egos. And I find, for example, that the United Nations is very ineffective. But then what would we substitute? We could substitute wise beings from different religions or different states—philosopher kings, if you will.

If you want oneness in society, you have to teach people to go inside instead of going outside, because if they want peace, they need to find it within. I remember being at a peace rally. Everybody was yelling, “PEACE PEACE!” That isn’t peace!  Peace is inside, in me and in everybody else. If you want peace, you go down in.”

 

Sometimes a visit to a catheral like the one in Bayeux can also bring you down into the heart. The tranquility and sacred atmosphere of this beautiful interior – once the crowds have left – can be felt. It is easy to sit down and breathe deeply and find that peace in the depths of your own sacred being. We stayed for three glorious days but three days is not enough to discover all the wonderful sites in this special Normandy town. Today I offer some of my photos of the elegant cathedral in Bayeux. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo is provided by the Calvados Tourist Office. Photo from the crypt.

 My photo was does not have the same clarity .

 

Those Miracle Words – Value Of Kindness

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Recent research into brain functioning has actually confirmed that we are hard-wired for love and compassion. So it’s not all chasing about individual success – our communities and society flourish when people look out for each other.

When we’re kind to people we know it strengthens our connections with them and provides a source of support. Research shows that we may benefit from giving support more than those receiving it – and we’re also more likely get support in return when we need it. This may not be like-for-like support, or even from the same person, but being kind to others builds a wider support network which increases well-being all round.


Thich Nhat Hanh, “Enseignements sur l’amour”

“A Word, deed or a thought filing compassionate reports can mitigate the suffering of the other and bring him or her joy. A single word can bring comfort and confidence, remove doubt, help someone to not commit an error, reconcile the parties in conflict or open the door to freedom.

A single gesture can be enough to save the life of a person, or helping him to seize a rare opportunity.
One thought can have the same effect, case thoughts always give rise to words or acts.

With compassion in our hearts, every thought, every word and every act may produce a miracle.”
 …

I See You Mara – Metta Teachings

kettle2eve

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We can be very hard on ourselves, can’t we? It’s as if, sometimes, we’re watching out for any tiny hint of a mistake, and then we pounce on ourselves, getting angry, or frustrated, or ashamed. I suspect it’s because we can be. When people are allowed or encouraged to be cruel, they often will be. There’s some inherent cruelty in all of us (to varying extents) and this is kept in check by social norms. Change the social norms so that cruelty is encouraged, and it soon emerges. Here’s the Buddha tells us of another way. We don’t need to be demons to ourselves or others.  We simple need to ask the demons to tea.


aawhiteed

I see you Mara, stay for Tea!

“One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart. On the morning of Buddha’s enlightenment Mara, the fearsome demon who symbolizes the shadow-side of human nature, fled in defeat and disarray. In Sanskrit “Mara” means “delusion” – that craving and fear that obscure our enlightened nature.

But it seems that he was only temporarily discouraged. Even after the Buddha had embarked on his teaching career and become a revered figure throughout Indian, Mara continued to make unexpected appearances. Instead of driving him away, however, the Buddha would calmly acknowledge the demon’s presence saying, “I see you, Mara.”He would then invite him for tea and serve him as an honored guest.

Offering Mara a cushion so that he could sit comfortably, the Buddha would fill two earthen cups with tea and place them on a low table between them. Mara would stay for awhile and then go, but throughout, the Buddha remained free and undisturbed.

You see, when Mara visits us in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, “I see you Mara,” and clearly recognize the craving and fear that persists in each human heart. The objective is to see what is true and to hold what is seen with kindness….

Our habit of being a fair-weather friend to ourselves – of pushing away or ignoring whatever darkness we can – is deeply entrenched…. We truly befriend ourselves when, rather than resisting our experience, we open our hearts and willingly invite Mara to tea.”

From Tara Brach’s, Radical Acceptance

beautiful sharing!!♥!

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect – The Value Of Kindness

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The Dalai Lama stands for achieving peace and kindness by way of peace and kindness, and since Gandhi and Martin Luther King aren’t around, he’s a placeholder for that kind of position. He describes himself as  a ‘simple monk,’ but that’s wishful thinking. He’s a monk that’s been saddled with the responsibility of shouldering the hopes and dreams of millions of Tibetan people. … He’s doing the best he can with that, and frankly, these are the kind of people we admire. Recently another good soul entered  on to the world’s  arena,  taking on the herculean task of restoring the hopes of millions of Catholics.  I am speaking of the new pope, Francis..

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting in Prague, Czech Republic on September 15, 2013. Both Nobel Peace Laureates are in Prague to attend the 17th Forum 2000 Conference on Societies in Transition. (Photo by Jeremy Russell/OHHDL)

An excerpt from You don’t need to be perfect to have a happy life!

A Happier Life by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD

When the Dalai Lama and some of his followers began to work with
Western scientists, they were surprised to find that self-esteem was
an issue, that so many Westerners did not love themselves and that
self-hate was pervasive. The discrepancy between self-love and love
for others—between miserliness toward ourselves and generosity toward
our neighbors—simply does not exist in Tibetan thought. In the words
of the Dalai Lama, “Compassion, or tsewa, as it is understood in the
Tibetan tradition, is a state of mind or way of being where you extend
how you relate to yourself toward others as well. ” When the Dalai
Lama was then asked to clarify whether indeed the object of compassion
may be the self, he responded:

Yourself first, and then in a more advanced way the aspiration will
embrace others. In a way, high levels of compassion are nothing but an
advanced state of that self-interest. That’s why it is hard for people
who have a strong sense of self-hatred to have genuine compassion
toward others. There is no anchor, no basis to start from.

There is much research pointing to the importance of self-esteem when
dealing with difficult experiences. Recently, however, psychologist
Mark Leary and his colleagues have illustrated that especially in hard
times, compassion toward the self is actually more helpful than
self-esteem is. Leary explains, “Self-compassion helps people not to
add a layer of self-recrimination on top of whatever bad things happen
to them. If people learn only to feel better about themselves but
continue to beat themselves up when they fail or make mistakes, they
will be unable to cope nondefensively with their difficulties.”

Self-compassion includes being understanding and kind toward oneself,
mindfully accepting painful thoughts and feelings, and recognizing
that one’s difficult experiences are part of being human. It is also
about being forgiving toward ourselves if we perform poorly on an
exam, make a mistake at work, or get upset when we shouldn’t. Leary
notes that “American society has spent a great deal of time and effort
trying to promote people’s self-esteem when a far more important
ingredient of well-being may be self-compassion.”

http://www.kripalu.org/article/1357/


How Many Gifts Did You Receive Today? – Metta Teachings

Kindness is being aware



Appreciation is a wonderful gift to have. To thank someone for a kindness is to literally touch the heart of another.  Through lovingkindness, everyone and everything can flower again from within.When we discover the knowledge of our own goodness and that of others, self-blessing happens naturally and beautifully. Here’s a nice note from Swami Chinmoy on gratitude and appreciation.

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Every day in our multifarious activities, either we express ingratitude or we express gratitude to our fellow beings.Ingratitude is not our inability to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Ingratitude is our deliberate unwillingness to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Gratitude is receptivity, the receptivity that acknowledges others’ gifts, others’ love and concern. Each time we express gratitude, we expand our hearts.

Receptivity can be increased. How can we increase our receptivity? We can increase it by cultivating it. The farmer cultivates the ground and then he sows the seed. He waters it and eventually the seed germinates and grows into a sapling and a tree. Here also, when we cultivate our gratitude-heart, we get the opportunity to sow our pure love there. This pure love grows into true concern, and true concern eventually becomes inseparable oneness.

When we want to pick a beautiful flower from a tree, we look around to see if anybody is observing us. We feel that nobody should know that we had to take the flower from some other place. We want to show the world at large that this flower was ours right from the beginning. In order to do that, we try to destroy the branches of the tree.

We receive gifts from our friends in the inner worlds but we don’t want others to know about it. So we speak ill of our inner friends, consciously or unconsciously. We want to make the world believe that we are self sufficient, but the rest of the world knows that we are receiving something from others. Ingratitude is nothing but a sense of inferiority, an inferiority complex. The gifts we get from others we do not want to acknowledge. We are afraid to expose ourselves to others.

Ingratitude, impurity and the doubting mind go together. It is impurity that divides and separates us and does not allow us to have the feeling of oneness or gratitude. And this impurity unconsciously or consciously is treasured by the doubtful mind. Gratitude, purity and the loving heart always go together. The gratitude flower grows in our purity heart. Purity expands our heart. Purity awakens our entire being within to the highest level of consciousness. The heart is self giving. And what is self-giving today becomes tomorrow God-Delight and God Perfection.

-Swami Chinmoy

Compassion and Loving Kindness – Metta Teachings

 

Ajahn Brahmavamso is a wonderful Theravadan monk whose wit and humor help bring the dharma alive.  Given recent events, I thought it would be good to give people who are not familiar with him a feel for Ajahn Brahm’s skill as a teacher. I think this is one of the best, most
inspiring metta instructions I’ve ever posted.

Loving-Kindness Meditation (Metta)

Ajahn Brahmavamso:

Metta is the Buddhist word for “loving-kindness.” It refers to the
emotion of goodwill, that which wishes happiness for another. It
embraces forgiveness, because Metta says: “The door to my heart is
open to you. No matter who you are or what you have done, come in.” It
is that kindness which does not judge and is given freely, expecting
nothing in return. The Buddha compared Metta to a mother’s love for
her child (Sn, 149). A mother may not always like her child or agree
with everything it does, but she will always care for her child,
wishing it only happiness. Such openhearted, non-discriminating
kindness is Metta.

Metta meditation is that meditation which focuses the attention on the
feeling of loving-kindness, developing that beautiful transcending
emotion until it fills the whole mind. There are many methods for
developing Metta meditation. Here is just one way.

To Light a Fire, Start with “Kindling”—Someone or Something You Love

One way you can develop loving-kindness meditation is by choosing some
object, which you find easy to feel loving kindness toward. The simile
I often use is that of lighting a fire. You need kindling to light a
fire. One can’t put a match to a big log and expect the match to
ignite that log. The log is far too big. So you have to find
something, which will take the flame easily, something, which is easy
to light. It could be some of the firelighters you get for barbecues,
or paper, or straw — anything that takes the fire very easily will do.
You build up the first flames of loving-kindness on that kindling and
then later one can put on more solid pieces of wood.

First of all one uses just twigs and then branches, then you can put
big logs on that fire. It’s always the case that only when there’s a
big roaring fire — really strong and very hot — only then can you put
on the big “sappy logs.” The big sappy logs in this simile stand for
your enemies. Sometimes for many of you, the biggest sappy log is
yourself! When you find the fire of loving-kindness is very strong,
you can put yourself on that fire, “dry out” and ignite the biggest,
sappiest log of all.

Once the fire is strong, you can give loving-kindness towards even
your worst enemies. It may surprise you that you can actually do this.
You think of this person towards whom you’ve always had anger and
wanted revenge, and you find that you are now in a mind state where
you can actually love them, really give them goodwill. And you’re not
playing around either. It’s actually happening! This is the result of
the gradual process of development of this emotion called
“loving-kindness”.

Now as to the “kindling”, this is where you use your power of
imagination and visualization together with your mental commentary.
Here you encourage the commentary, but you keep your commentary just
to a certain topic. You’re, as it were, “psyching yourself up” to
develop loving-kindness towards a small visual object, an imaginary
object. Don’t be afraid of imagination, because visualization and
imagination are tools of the mind that you can use to your benefit.

Keeping your eyes closed, imagine in front of you a small kitten or a
puppy or a baby or whatever you find it easy to generate
loving-kindness towards. (I personally like using a small kitten.)
Imagine it to be abandoned, hungry, afraid, and in your mind open your
heart to it. Take it up gently, in imaginary arms, and use inner
speech to say: “May you not feel so afraid. Be at peace. May you be
happy. I will look after you, be your friend and protector. I care for
you. Whatever you do, wherever you go, my heart will always welcome
you. I give you my love unconditionally, always.”

Say those words inside (or similar one’s that you make up) with full
meaning, even though it is to a being only in your imagination. Say
them many times until you feel the joy of Metta arise in you heart
like a golden glow. Stay with this exercise until the feeling of Metta
is strong and stable.

Metta Includes Compassion

Loving-kindness includes compassion, so you can use compassion to
generate Metta. You look at that imaginary being and focus on its
suffering, real or potential. You see the fact that it is subject to
pain — not just physical pain but also the mental pain of loneliness
and rejection. You see how very vulnerable it is. When I do this with
my little imaginary kitten I always think that there’s no one else in
the whole world to look after that small being. If I don’t look after
it, if I don’t take it in, I just imagine what sort of death that
little being is going to have — cold, rejected, hungry, thirsty and
sick. When I start to see the suffering (the dukkha), in that being
and how it is so vulnerable to pain, then straight away it encourages
compassion in me towards it. I want to protect and care for it.

As soon as that compassion, that sense of looking after the little
being comes up, it’s very easy at the same time to have
loving-kindness, (which is basically goodwill). Compassion is goodwill
towards someone who’s suffering. In this instance it’s goodwill to
ease the suffering of that imaginary being, and if its not suffering,
to make its happiness even more delightful. I deliberately generate
feelings of goodwill, of kindness, of compassion and of care.

All of these words are centering in on this concept of
“loving-kindness”, and I enter into a commentary with myself at this
time, just imagining what might happen to that being, imagining
looking after it, saying words of kindness, of protection. I do
imaginary exercises like getting eye contact with that little being.
When you can actually contact the imaginary being’s eyes it becomes
very emotional. Then I just keep on developing those images. I
continue that commentary until such time that the loving-kindness
towards that imaginary being is really, really strong.

You will find — at least I find anyway — that it’s so much easier to
light a fire of loving-kindness on such easy kindling. First of all,
my imaginary kitten is a lovely furry animal. It’s imaginary, so I can
make it whatever I want. It’s young. If it were actually real even
little kittens can sometimes be pests. But if it’s imaginary you’ve
got full control over it to make it as furry, or as soft as you like.
It purrs at the right time, and it doesn’t poo on your lap. So you can
do everything you want, just to make it a very nice little being. It’s
imaginary. You’ve got control over it.

Choose An Object You Can Relate To

One person I know didn’t have much empathy towards little animals, nor
did she like children. What she did was very innovative. She’d just
been planting some small flowers in some pots in her house; so she
just imagined a small plant in the earth. Just like the little kitten
or the puppy, the plant is also a being that needs care and
protection. She put all her motherly instincts, which she didn’t
really have towards children, towards that little plant, nurturing it
and just imagining it growing.

When it was a young seedling, it was just so tender and so easily hurt
and broken. It had a long way to go before it was a full fledged
flower. She imagined herself nurturing it, protecting it, loving it,
caring for it until such time that the little flower burst forth and
repaid her kindness with this beautiful smile of a flower in bloom.
She really “got off” on that. That was for her the first time that
meditation actually seemed to work. It was the first time she wasn’t
waiting for me to ring the bell. So this is another way of developing
loving-kindness, instead of towards an animal or a human being,
towards even a plant. And you can do that.

The point is, as long as you are nurturing this emotion and making it
grow, you’re allowed to use your commentary, and it’s good to use it
at this point to keep the fire burning. When you put a match to a
piece of paper, you’ve got to blow; you’ve got to fan. You’ve got to
keep it going.

Sometimes you need two or three matches to get it alight. You work
until the fire is going, and once loving-kindness is going, always
remember to experience the warmth from time to time. So you’re working
to get the fire going, but you’re also pausing now and again, to
experience the result of your work. And as you see the result of your
work, it gives you encouragement.

So you’re just using this imaginary “kindling” as a means to develop
loving-kindness, to get it started. As you go along, quite naturally
you’ll be aware of the feel of loving-kindness. When the flame starts
to take and there’s a fire starting, you can feel its warmth.
Loving-kindness when it gets started is a very pleasurable emotion.
Once you start to feel its warmth, then you really get into it.

How Metta Grows and Expands its Horizons

Now let go of the imaginary being, and imagine in its place a real
person, someone very close to you emotionally, your best friend maybe.
Choose someone to whom you also find it easy to generate and maintain
loving-kindness towards. With inner speech say to them: “May you live
in happiness. I sincerely wish you joy. I give you my love, without
discrimination. You will always have a place in my heart. I truly care
for you.” — or similar words of your own design. Use whatever arouses
the warm glow of Metta in you heart. Stay with this person. Imagine
they are right before you until the Metta glows bright and constant
around them.

When the Metta glows bright and constant, let go of the image of that
person. Substitute another close acquaintance, creating the feeling of
Metta around them using your inner speech in the same way: “May you
live in happiness…”

Next substitute a whole group of people, perhaps all of the people who
are in the house you are in. Develop the caring glow of Metta around
them, all in the same way. “May you all be happy and well…”

A Lotus of Love in Our Hearts

See if you can imagine Metta to be a golden radiance coming from a
beautiful white lotus flower in the middle of your heart. Allow that
radiance of loving-kindness to expand in all directions, embracing
more and more living beings, until it becomes boundless, filling up
all that you can imagine. “May all living beings, near or far, great
or small, be happy and at peace…” Bathe the whole universe in the
warmth of the golden light of loving-kindness. Stay there for a while.

Now imagine yourself, as if looking in a mirror at yourself. Say with
your inner speech, with full sincerity:

   “I wish me well. I now give myself the gift of happiness. Too long
the door to my heart has been closed to me; now I open it. No matter
what I have done, or will ever do, the door to my own love and respect
is always open to me. I forgive myself unreservedly. Come home. I now
give myself that love which does not judge. I care for this vulnerable
being called ‘me’. I embrace all of me with the loving-kindness of
Metta…”

Invent your own words here to let the warmth of loving-kindness sink
deep inside you, to that part which is most frightened. Let it melt
all resistance until you are one with Metta, non-limiting
loving-kindness, like a mother to her child.

When you feel it is time to conclude, pause for a minute or two to
reflect on how you feel inside. Notice the effect that this meditation
has had on you. Metta meditation can produce heavenly bliss. Now
imagine that golden glow of Metta one more time, originating from the
beautiful white lotus in your heart. Gently draw that golden light
back into the lotus, leaving the warmth outside. When the glow is a
tiny ball of intense light in the center of the lotus, gently close
the petals of the lotus, guarding the seed of Metta within your heart,
ready to be released again in your next Metta meditation. Open your
eyes and get up slowly.

Recapitulation

Now to recapitulate what we’ve covered so far: when you practice the
above method of Metta meditation, it is helpful to use easy objects at
the beginning. Again Metta meditation is like lighting a fire. You
start by using some paper and kindling which easily takes the flame.
Once that is alight, you put on some thicker sticks, and when these
are burning well, you add some bigger pieces of wood. Eventually, once
the fire is established, you can put on the big pieces of fuel.

When the fire is roaring you can even put on a big, wet and sappy log,
and there is enough heat for that to catch light and burn too. In this
simile, the “big, wet and sappy log” stands for your “enemy,” someone
you find it especially hard to forgive and be kind to. This enemy is
often yourself. Once Metta has been established on the easy objects,
though, you will be surprised at how even the “enemy” can “take the
flame” of Metta. You find, in this way, that you can actually love
your enemy.

article from Metta Refuge

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

Let Me Touch Your Feet – Sathya Sai Memories


·**•.♥LOVE♥.•**·life·**•.♥LIFE♥.•**

I remember the day well, it was the 21st June 1994, morning darshan in Sai Ramash Hall, Whitefield. Swami walked up and stood close to me. He took my letters, paused to read the envelope, then with a smile He came even closer while collecting letters being offered to Him from everyone around. He dropped one small note between his feet and I bent down to pick it up. The letter had fallen near His gown and I gently picked the letter up and offered it to Him, while engaged in the offering of the letter, I forgot to touch his feet – something I’d longed to do. It was not until after darshan that I pondered on how close He had been, surely, I thought, the dropped letter had been a hint? What a missed opportunity!

Many times during the following weeks I wanted to touch His feet but an opportunity did not arise. However, a few days before I left for home, Swami came over and took another letter and allowed me Padmanaskar. Everything I had asked Swami for that summer had come to pass and once I’d touched His foot, my trip was completed and I felt fulfilled.

Darshan to me has always been about those little things that happen, either through contact with Swami or sharing experiences with those around us.

***

It is ten o’clock at night here. I have just posted this story from my old website. I had no idea that the story would have the date mentioned. I had forgotten that I’d ever mentioned it. When I checked with my calender just now, I see it is 21st June, 2009, 15 years later. Wow! time goes by so quickly.

I now ponder on what made me chose to post this story tonight, when I am so very tired? As I said, I had no idea that it would contain the date of the experience.


– Sathya Sai Memories