Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 07/03/2014

Metta Parami Practice

184. And how does one dwell pervading one direction with a mind filled with love? Just as one would feel love for a loving, pleasant person, like this one pervades all beings with love. And concerning this, what is love? That which in beings is love, the act of love, the state of love, love that is free from ill-will.
And how does one dwell pervading one direction with a mind filled with compassion? Just as one would feel compassion for a miserable or evil person, like this one pervades all beings with compassion. And concerning this, what is compassion? That which in beings is compassion, the act of being compassionate, the state of being compassionate, compassion that is free from cruelty.
And how does one dwell pervading one direction with a mind filled with sympathetic joy? Just as one would feel joyful for a lovely, pleasant person, like this one pervades all beings with sympathetic joy. And concerning this, what is sympathetic joy? That which in beings is sympathetic joy, the act of sympathetic joy, the state of sympathetic joy, sympathetic joy that is free from envy.
And how does one dwell pervading one direction with a mind filled with equanimity? Just as one would feel equanimity for a person neither pleasant nor unpleasant, like this one pervades all beings with equanimity. And concerning this, what is equanimity? That which in beings is equanimity, the act of equanimity, the state of equanimity, equanimity that is free from distress.

Vibhanga 272

This morning I decided, on the spur of the moment, to begin with metta bhavana. I took the traditional, commentarial approach and began with myself before moving on to my parents and then my daughter. For the first time in quite awhile I was not so preoccupied with the phrases themselves but, having checked-in with my intention, I settled on using whatever came up.

At some point I realized that I had decided to give up on the idea of cultivating acertain state or feeling and was just enjoying the fact that I could and was spreading goodwill, care and concern to myself and others. This realization helped me to reformulate my intention and undertake the practice not to gain something just or primarily for myself but as an offering to others (in this case my parents and daughter). It is an approach to metta bhavana that is advocated by one of my teachers and that I think has much value but, due to my own greedy tendencies, it is one I often forego in favor of techniques that emphasize cultivating a certain feeling.

May I return to this intention to serve and care for all beings throughout the day and may my fasting serve as a reminder of the suffering of all beings in a state of perpetual want.


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