metta

Often or here in the blog I use the word love instead of the Pali word ‘metta’. Both words are intrinsically the same. That the word love is more familiar and we more associations with it which is a handicap and an advantage. I write about love because what I have to say includes all types of love, not only the altruistic, the unconditioned. In fact, as long as one is not an once returner, and has overcome liking and disliking, all love will be defiled – more or less.

 

It is good to develop ‘metta’ through metta meditation. One feels good and directs the thoughts in a beneficial direction. Although one might not really have or radiate metta yet even though one repeats the formula ‘may all beings be happy’, …

 

What I, in my limited and unenlightened way of perceiving, had thought to be unconditioned love, pure metta, is still just defiled. Too bad. It is a bit frustrating, like nibbeling off with your fingernails bits and pieces from posters from thick layers of posters on a advertisement wall. Once a piece is off one sees there is another poster underneath and yet another and yet another.

 

In the end one might find out that there is no poster wall, the thick layers of posters are supporting themselves, once all are scratched off nothing remains. That’s just a guess, for now what I do is nibbeling, scratching and finding a deeper layer.

 

In regards to love that means: even when I love a dog, it is not purely unconditioned. I get something out of it – and I want to get it out. Even a blade of grass, when I look at it and love it, it is a sense pleasure and not unconditional love, not pure metta.

 

The Buddha distinguished the paramies, the good qualities in 3 stages, the normal stage of a normal worldling, the higher and the ultimate. The latter qualities of an enlightened being, the middle one probably experienced or radiated by a learner, one who is established on the path but not perfected.

 

Here sits that dog in front of me, after a good meal and a good cuddle and he is looking at me with love in his eyes. Does he know more about unconditional love than I do?

 

No, if I were not feeding him he would not know me.

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3 comments

  1. Don’t you think love is too demanding or pretentious? I find it easer to connect metta with simple kindness. Then you can be kind to the dog and he can be kind in return. And this doesn’t include feeding him. And then kindness becomes unconditional. Metta!

    • Dear Gorskovreme,

      all the paramis, perfections or qualities are in teh Buddha’s teaching ‘classified’ in 3 levels. The normal base level, the high developed and the boundless level, as like in a Buddha or an Arahant. The base level can certainly be said to be simple kindness. But since I have met people with so overwhelmingly much metta that one sheds teas of joy or just wants to bow down however the ground may be and never leave their presence again, to call metta friendliness is not enough.
      I am experimenting and trying to raise my paramis like metta and karuna from the base to a more developed level. Love is, as you say not a good translation for metta and maybe it should just remain untranslated. I am totally open for better fitting words.

      • Dear Ayya Phalanyani,
        Happy Vesak and thank you for your answer. I deeply admire your efforts and aspiration towards realization of the Truth here and now. And maybe you are right, may be we should leave certain words untranslated, because we are conditioned to the language we use since childhood. We have conditioned expectations there. When we use the ancient language we make a whole new mapping of our conscious cognition. Anyway, from my level of perception of paramis, I send you much metta and I’ll follow your posts since my resolution is to translate Buddha-Dhamma in my native Bulgarian for the welfare of my fellow countrymen. Thanks again for your time!


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