Metta experience

Robin Woods, modified 3 Months ago.

Metta experience

Posts: 158 Join Date: 5/28/12 Recent Posts
Has anyone had any experience with intensive or long term metta practice who would be prepared to share something about how it's changed them and their world? 

my attempts at beaming healing/loving energy at people have so far just given me a bit of a sore head...
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Meta experience

Posts: 3864 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Oh, you meant "metta!"

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Robin Woods, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Meta experience

Posts: 158 Join Date: 5/28/12 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Oh, you meant "metta!"

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lol. Corrected...
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Metta experience

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Has anyone had any experience with intensive or long term metta practice who would be prepared to share something about how it's changed them and their world? 

my attempts at beaming healing/loving energy at people have so far just given me a bit of a sore head...
hi Robin,

this is a topic that has a learning curve that runs until all sentient beings are saved, lol. So depending on your metaphysics and mythology, this is something we could be thinking about forever. "A bit of a sore head," like pretty much everything along the learning curve of metta, is basically a good start.

The possibility of true meta is rooted, first, in a deep acceptance of the reality of suffering, of samsara in all its pervasiveness. Com-passion is literally "suffering-with": we recognize the suffering of others because we know our own. And having begun with samsara dukkha, the next key to the possibility of true metta, for me, is emptiness. A paradox, yes? that we are best prepared to love others when we have seen our own selves as nothing, in some crucial way. Knowing both the suffering of self, and the self's emptiness, there is a point where there arises, from a nothing-self with nothing, more or less, to lose, the desire to give ease to other nothing-selves in their suffering. So that's the Buddhist 101, the necessary preconditions for metta.

Now to the sore head, lol. What, in practice, is metta? Actual, effective, palpable metta, love in action, on the ground? I don't think it's a beam. I think it's the spontaneous movement of a deeply prepared heart, humbled by its own sufferings, humbled by the limits of its own knowledge, humbled by the cluelessness of who and what and when and where and how. All you can really do is that heart work, the ground work, in the self ever deepening into its own emptiness: you can become metta waiting to happen. And at some point you start noticing the moments, a word here, a gesture there, an action, a bit of courage, a bit of risk for someone else's sake, perhaps at yur own expense. The kind of things that cause people in the southern US to say, "God bless you." A bit of metta in action makes everyone involved come out of the moment grateful for having experienced it.

The New Testament word is "agape," translated usually as love or charity, but metta works here too:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not metta, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not metta, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not metta, it profiteth me nothing.

Metta suffereth long, and is kind; metta envieth not; metta vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Metta never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, metta, these three; but the greatest of these is metta.