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Equanimity Stage and Metta

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Equanimity Stage and Metta
metta equaminity
Answer
9/22/16 1:07 PM
For the past month or so I have been unable to generate the mind state of metta in my formal practice. The mind is too tranquil to generate any type of intention, so I just sit with the peaceful mind that is already there. Having had clear signs that I was in/out of all the previous stages of insight (Mahasi), I assume I am now in the knowledge of equanimity. Has anyone else had this experience? Any advice? Thanks

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/22/16 5:44 PM as a reply to Brato Ganibe.
Although not exactly the same, I had a similar experience of deep pervasive relief when I first hit Eq.  I would recommend surfing that wave of surrender but keep enough effort for good technique going.  The surrender will take you into mid eq, at which point you should ramp up your effort again until high eq, when it will become about an even deeper sense of surrender paired with an investigation into what is not yet being seen fully.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/23/16 5:21 AM as a reply to Brato Ganibe.
A month is really long, I haven't experienced that, nor heard of someone who has.
I only have experience of shorter periods (minutes to hours) where I can hardly generate the feeling of Metta.
Even in those instances I'm convinced that the repetition of Metta phrases still has a significant effect.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 4:13 AM as a reply to Brato Ganibe.
I have never ever practised formal metta. The more tranquility & insight the mind cultivates, the more natural metta (non-violence; non-hatred; wishing to help others; non-sentimental love) will develop & grow by itself. This occurs because tranquility & insight practises are expressions of love (metta) towards oneself. As this 'self-directed-love' grows, it will naturally manifest outwardly,since it becomes one's state of being. Please note the noble eightfold path in Buddhism does not include 'metta' in it. It only includes non-hatred. From not-hatred, equanimity, tranquility, growing selflessness & liberation from suffering, the positive state of 'metta' will manifest by itself. emoticon

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 9:07 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
I have never ever practised formal metta. The more tranquility & insight the mind cultivates, the more natural metta (non-violence; non-hatred; wishing to help others; non-sentimental love) will develop & grow by itself.
This occurs because tranquility & insight practises are expressions of love (metta) towards oneself. As this 'self-directed-love' grows, it will naturally manifest outwardly,since it becomes one's state of being. Please note the noble eightfold path in Buddhism does not include 'metta' in it. It only includes non-hatred. From not-hatred, equanimity, tranquility, growing selflessness & liberation from suffering, the positive state of 'metta' will manifest by itself. emoticon

And where do you find all that in the Sutta-s?

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 9:53 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
I have never ever practised formal metta. The more tranquility & insight the mind cultivates, the more natural metta (non-violence; non-hatred; wishing to help others; non-sentimental love) will develop & grow by itself. This occurs because tranquility & insight practises are expressions of love (metta) towards oneself. As this 'self-directed-love' grows, it will naturally manifest outwardly,since it becomes one's state of being. Please note the noble eightfold path in Buddhism does not include 'metta' in it. It only includes non-hatred. From not-hatred, equanimity, tranquility, growing selflessness & liberation from suffering, the positive state of 'metta' will manifest by itself. emoticon
This post is an example for a fascinating yet widespread phenomenon.
Tons of people who do not (or hardly) practice formal Metta explicitly state that it is not necessary because their other practice already removes anger, and therefore essentially leads to the same result. Or something.

I have no idea how any person with a remainder of common sense can buy into these completely misguided ideas u_U

If you're looking for it: There are Suttas which emphasize the importance of Metta.
If one doesn't care about suttas and their numerous contradictions too much, maybe actually doing the experiment or talking with actual people who have done this may be a better idea than broadcasting nonsense.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 9:00 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
I have no idea how any person with a remainder of common sense can buy into these completely misguided ideas u_U

Wow......emoticon....such metta....emoticon

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 9:13 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:

And where do you find all that in the Sutta-s?

The suttas state a prequisite for the 1st jhana is the dissolution of the five hindrances & equate the 1st jhana with the sphere of Brahma (love). Trust me. Practising 'metta meditation' won't directly bring either jhana or metta. Don't waste your time. 

emoticon

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve. SN 45.8

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. SN 48.9

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

Dnp 5

....

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/24/16 9:13 PM as a reply to Nicky.
To some degree, this discussion comes down to different strokes for different folks.  

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 12:33 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
To some degree, this discussion comes down to different strokes for different folks.  

Possibly. However, the problem is there is no formal metta meditation in the suttas I know of. The primary instruction seems to be non-hatred, non-hostility, non-harming, etc, which is in tune with the path to tranquility. That said, I have not read 100% of the suttas. Generally, those claiming to follow the suttas seeem to be following the Visuddhimagga. However, I am open to sutta quotes.


 emoticon

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 5:51 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Noah D:
To some degree, this discussion comes down to different strokes for different folks.  

Possibly. However, the problem is there is no formal metta meditation in the suttas I know of. The primary instruction seems to be non-hatred, non-hostility, non-harming, etc, which is in tune with the path to tranquility. That said, I have not read 100% of the suttas. Generally, those claiming to follow the suttas seeem to be following the Visuddhimagga. However, I am open to sutta quotes.


 emoticon
Try scanning the indexes of the Nikiyas (B. Bodhi translations) for "loving kindness" "metta","divine abodes", etc. e.g.:

Digha Nikiya
(metta meditation as jhana)
13.76 (p.194)
"Then, with his heart filled with loving-kindness, he dwells suffusing one quarter, the second, the third, the fourth. Thus he dwells suffusing the whole world, upwards, downwards, across, everywhere, always with a heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, unbounded, without hate or ill-will."

Majjhima Nikiya
7.13 (p.120) – similar to above
40.9 (p374) – similar
43.31 (p.394) - similar
50.14 (p.434) – similar
52.8 (p.456) - similar
83.5 (p.693) – similar
55.6 (p.474) – similar
97.32 (p.796) – similar
99.24 (p.816) – similar & see footnote 915 p. 1303
127.7 (p.1003) – similar

Samyutta Nikiya
p. 708 – cetovimutti ("liberation of mind" - jhana) via metta
p. 1325 – similar to above (DN, MN)
p. 1344 -- dittop. 1600 & fn p. 1909 – as antidote to ill-will
p. 1607-8 & p, 1609 – as above, & fn 109,111

Anguttara Nikiya
III.63.2 p. 276 – as above
III.65 p. 282 – as above
IV.67 p. 456 – metta for creatures (snakes)
IV.190.2 p. 560 – as above
VI… p.865ff – how to use metta among monks
VII.62 p.1062ff– the Buddha's history of using metta (s/w mythological)
IX p. 1273 – as above
X.219 p.1542 – variation on above
XI.16.5 p. 1575 – as above

Page 1594, footnote 31 – at length from commentary and subcommentary disccussing metta as cetovimutti, jhana., and different approaches to developing, and the benefits.

Overall, that "pericope" that occurs again and again (in red above) for cultivating metta resembles the Kariyana Metta Sutta itself (SN 1.8 and Khp 9) as cultivating a "limitless" state of mind, as in jhana-samadhi. The more "modern" method of wishing good-will for oneself, friends, neutral people, enemies, etc, appears in the Vimuttimagga (1st-Century CE), and then in the Visuddhimagga (5th-century CE)– both of which sources emphasize first getting anger/resentmentout of the way before doing metta. They give this method – wishing for self & others – as a way of getting into it, but then the expanding to limitlessness (samadhi) and cetovimutti as the end goal. (Whereas many places in the sutta-s mention metta as an antidote to ill-will.)

The Patisambhidamagga ("Path of Deliverance", 2nd-1st-Century BCE, placed in Canon in the Khuddaka Nikaya) has a lengthy chapter on metta ("Treatise XIV"), but no trace of the goodwill for self, friends,… method. Rather it goes on and on along the lines "May all <x> be free from enmity, distress and affliction, and may they live happily" where <x> goes through a long list -- all women, men, Noble Ones, not Nobles, deities, humans, in the west, north, south,… all "breathers", persons, women, men, etc "in the eastern direction"…"upper direction", "below",… I.e. not unlike the sutta-s, especially the Kariyana Metta Sutta.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 6:25 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Depending on the places and context. If you do the metta to get something to arise from a body, then to make it work is to awoke evil forces what are stronger than you. Metta doesn't work if everything is metta, something akin if someone asks you to laugh you can't do it and when asked to not laugh it is kind of impossible to not start laugh. I failed..the directed thought test again..

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 10:01 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:

Trust me. Practising 'metta meditation' won't directly bring either jhana or metta. Don't waste your time. emoticon

Your advice in this thread is akin to saying "Trust me. Don't become a carpenter. They can't build tables. Really! By the way, I'm not a carpenter myself, not even a little. I'm actually a tailor."
Do you not realize that one might find this attitude a tad ridiculous?

If you really don't want to try it for yourself (or if it happens to not work for you), and if you really think that your interpretation of the Suttas in this regard is foolproof even considering your lack of experience in this area, then you still have to make sense of the numerous counterexamples. You see, those tons of people who have actually seriously tried the practice (often after exclusively adhering to non-brahmavihara practices for a long time) and for themselves saw the results which you state won't happen.

As to the lack of formal metta practice in the Sutta:
That's partially true, especially the method with the metta phrases was written down only later. There is the Metta Sutta, though, which contains actual, though vague instructions.
But this isn't really limited to the Metta Sutta. The Satipatthana Sutta for instance seems equally vague, but many contemporary methods are based on the general instructions it provides.

Lastly, here are a bunch of random Sutta quotes which can be interpreted as the Buddha saying that Metta is important. But I think they're not nearly as significant as real living people's actual experiences.
"No other thing do I know,
bhikkhus, on account of which unarisen ill will does not arise and
arisen ill will is abandoned so much as on account of this: the
liberation of the heart by lovingkindness. For one who attends
properly to the liberation of the heart by lovingkindness, unarisen
ill will does not arise and arisen ill will is abandoned."- Anguttara Nikaya

“Here, friends, a monk might
say: ‘When the deliverance of the mind by lovingkindness is
developed and cultivated, frequently practised, made one's vehicle
and foundation, firmly established, consolidated, and properly
undertaken, ill will nevertheless still invades my mind and remains,’
he should be told, ‘Not so. Let the venerable one not say so. Let
him not misrepresent the Blessed One. It is not good to misrepresent
the Blessed One. The Blessed One would certainly not speak in such a
way.’

‘Friends, it is impossible, it cannot happen, that
when the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness is developed and
cultivated, frequently practised, made one's vehicle and foundation,
firmly established, consolidated, and properly undertaken, ill will
can invade the mind and remain. For this, friends, is the escape from
ill will, namely, the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness.’”

-
from the Digha Nikaya, Sutta 33

"Bhikkhus, whatever kinds of
worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the
liberation of the heart by lovingkindness; in shining and beaming and
radiance the liberation of the heart by lovingkindness far excels
them.
"Just as whatever light
there is of stars, all is not worth one sixteenth part of the moon's;
in shining and beaming and radiance the moon's light far excels it;
and just as in the last month of the Rains, in the Autumn when the
heavens are clear, the sun as it climbs the heavens drives all
darkness from the sky with its shining and beaming and radiance; and
just as, when the night is turning to dawn, the morning star is
shining and beaming and radiating; so, too, whatever kinds of worldly
merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the
liberation of the heart by lovingkindness; in shining and beaming and
radiance the liberation of the heart by lovingkindness far excels
them." - Itivuttaka, Sutta 27

"Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu
cultivates loving-kindness for as long as a fingersnap, he is called
a bhikkhu. He is not destitute of jhana
meditation, he carries out the Master's teaching, he responds to
advice, and he does not eat the country's alms food in vain. So what
should be said of those who develop it frequently?" -
Anguttara Nikaya 1:53
***

“Hatred never ceases
through hatred.
Only through love does it cease.
This is an
eternal law.”

- Dhammapada 5

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 1:37 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Good thoughts all around.  Notably, there are also historic/cultural differences in various strands of Buddhism: the way the Burmese have isolated meditation into different methods which take place in formal, sitting practice; the way the Thai forest tradition tends to integrate the three trainings, trusting that core qualities such as loving-kindness and insight will arise "naturally", etc.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 2:36 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Try scanning the indexes of the Nikiyas (B. Bodhi translations) for "loving kindness" "metta","divine abodes", etc. e.g.:

Digha Nikiya
(metta meditation as jhana)
13.76 (p.194)
"Then, with his heart filled with loving-kindness, he dwells suffusing one quarter, the second, the third, the fourth. Thus he dwells suffusing the whole world, upwards, downwards, across, everywhere, always with a heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, unbounded, without hate or ill-will."

Majjhima Nikiya
7.13 (p.120) – similar to above

Samyutta Nikiya
p. 708 – cetovimutti ("liberation of mind" - jhana) via metta

Please don't waste your time Chris with childish things. 

MN 7 starts with listing defilements/stains of the mind, which are abandoned by discerning their imperfection. From that, the mind & body become tranquil, raptureous & concentrated. Then later, after eating alm's food, the monk pervades all quarters with metta, in gratitude to recieving alms food. Metta becomes the 'right livelihood' of the monk. Then later, the monk attains liberation, by escaping from this whole field of perception. 

'Cetovimutti' means liberation of mind rather than 'jhana'. MN 43 states cetovimutti via metta is not the foremost. In other words, it is only temporary. 

'Jhana' is reached by abandoning thinking. 

With real metta emoticon

And as I remained thus heedful, ardent & resolute, thinking imbued with non-ill will arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with non-ill will has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed....Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana:.........

MN 19 

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 3:11 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Your advice in this thread is akin to saying "Trust me. Don't become a carpenter. They can't build tables. Really! By the way, I'm not a carpenter myself, not even a little. I'm actually a tailor."
Do you not realize that one might find this attitude a tad ridiculous?

Quoting suttas about metta won't bring metta. To develop the metta mentioned in the suttas requires lots of development of the fundamentals of sila, samadhi  & panna. Most of the metta in the suttas is like icing on a cake rather than the cake itself. It is what a monk practises to refine their social relationships & social disposition, like the 'make-up' a woman uses to make herself look more attractive. 

The metta in the suttas is not the same as the 'metta' you are practising in retreats, which is primarily for healing people from their traumas & neurosis. 

As I originally posted, when the mind is inclined towards tranquility, it is best to develop this, as the Lord Buddha did. 

emoticon

And as I remained thus heedful, ardent & resolute, thinking imbued with non-ill will (metta) arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with non-ill will has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.....Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana:

MN 19

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 6:36 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky
Try scanning the indexes of the Nikiyas (B. Bodhi translations) for "loving kindness" "metta","divine abodes", etc. e.g.:

Digha Nikiya
(metta meditation as jhana)
13.76 (p.194)

"Then, with his heart filled with loving-kindness, he dwells suffusing one quarter, the second, the third, the fourth. Thus he dwells suffusing the whole world, upwards, downwards, across, everywhere, always with a heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, unbounded, without hate or ill-will."

Majjhima Nikiya
7.13 (p.120) – similar to above

Samyutta Nikiya
p. 708 – cetovimutti ("liberation of mind" - jhana) via metta

Please don't waste your time Chris with childish things. 

MN 7 starts with listing defilements/stains of the mind, which are abandoned by discerning their imperfection. From that, the mind & body become tranquil, raptureous & concentrated. Then later, after eating alm's food, the monk pervades all quarters with metta, in gratitude to recieving alms food. Metta becomes the 'right livelihood' of the monk. Then later, the monk attains liberation, by escaping from this whole field of perception. 

'Cetovimutti' means liberation of mind rather than 'jhana'. MN 43 states cetovimutti via metta is not the foremost. In other words, it is only temporary. 

'Jhana' is reached by abandoning thinking. 

With real metta


You clearly don't know what you're talking about, Mr/Ms "Nicky".

Whatever hides behind this persona -- Nicky -- demonstrates yet again here, the conceit (overinflated sense of authority) and consequent ignorance (blindness to the limits of, even the fact of the relativity of viewpoint, let alone the a narrow and skewed understanding of the Pali Canon) that has characterized his/her posts since beginning.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 9:13 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris.

Please find me a genuine practitioner that has actually entered hard jhana by using metta? Why do the scriptures not report the Lord Buddha attaining hard jhana by using metta? 

Metta is a social practise. It has little value for meditation, which is why the Buddha did not teach 'Anapanametta' or 'Mettapathana'. Please abandon your theories. Metta is for the grandmothers who give alms to the monks.

With real metta emoticon



And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana...SN 48.9


On that occasion the monk remains focused on ...body ...feelings ... mind ... dhamma... — ardent, alert & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world...MN 118


RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 9:24 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Chris.

Please find me a genuine practitioner that has actually entered hard jhana by using metta? Why do the scriptures not report the Lord Buddha attaining hard jhana by using metta? 

Metta is a social practise. It has little value for meditation, which is why the Buddha did not teach 'Anapanametta' or 'Mettapathana'. Please abandon your theories. Metta is for the grandmothers who give alms to the monks.

With real metta emoticon



And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana...SN 48.9


On that occasion the monk remains focused on ...body ...feelings ... mind ... dhamma... — ardent, alert & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world...MN 118

These views are so ill-informed and erroneous that they're not worth trying to correct. The author has never, at least here in DhO that I recall, acknowledged any critique, nor admitted the relativity of his/her views, but rather again and again tauted them as absolutely authoritative.

"Scriptures", "Lord Buddha",... -- rather more like the attitude common in fundamentalist Christianity.

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 9:42 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
It was Macie that brought up the suttas, like a fundamentalist. Anyway, it is pointless to carry on since your last two posts have degenerated into 'personal attacks' upon 'sunnata phenomena'. 

All the best with the metta. emoticon



RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/25/16 9:42 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
It was Macie that brought up the suttas, like a fundamentalist. 

Anyway, it is pointless to carry on since your last two posts have degenerated into 'personal attacks' upon 'sunnata phenomena'. 

All the best with the metta. emoticon

Questioning substance of material presented here -- not personal attacks.

Unfortunately, and pretty much as usual, getting no response on the substantive issues...

RE: Equanimity Stage and Metta
Answer
9/26/16 1:07 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
bernd the broter:
Your advice in this thread is akin to saying "Trust me. Don't become a carpenter. They can't build tables. Really! By the way, I'm not a carpenter myself, not even a little. I'm actually a tailor."
Do you not realize that one might find this attitude a tad ridiculous?

Quoting suttas about metta won't bring metta. To develop the metta mentioned in the suttas requires lots of development of the fundamentals of sila, samadhi  & panna. Most of the metta in the suttas is like icing on a cake rather than the cake itself. It is what a monk practises to refine their social relationships & social disposition, like the 'make-up' a woman uses to make herself look more attractive. 
I must admit that I find your arguments highly entertaining. While I see little in your posts that substantiates your line of reasoning, I definitely have to memorize this. The time may come for me to troll eager Metta proponents with great enthusiasm.
The metta in the suttas is not the same as the 'metta' you are practising in retreats, which is primarily for healing people from their traumas & neurosis.
For lack of psychic powers I can't rule this out completely, but I still have to wonder:
What makes you so sure of your view regarding this type of Metta given you haven't practiced it yourself?

Please find me a genuine practitioner that has actually entered hard jhana by using metta?
Bhante Sujato?