Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reflections: We're All Connected - Visualizing Metta and the Metta Sutra

With the speed of 'news' these days it's easy to get caught up in large scale tragedies, especially natural disasters. Whether we know people directly affected or not, our ability to respond to such events with actual help is limited by distance and other conditions and circumstances.

The truth is we're all connected. When we can't provide actual physical assistance, we have a choice: We can respond by getting tangled up in these events to a degree that negatively affects our ability to respond to what our own circumstances confront us with or we can respond with metta (loving-kindness).

If one visualizes the spreading wave of pain and suffering it becomes a little easier to see that getting tangled up in and adding to the outcry of pain and suffering is unlikely to be helpful. And it becomes easier to see the helpfulness of metta as a restorative calming influence:

The Metta Sutra

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!


Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

~ The Buddha


(obtained from: http://asuradharma.blogspot.com/2010/08/unemployment-by-county-2007-2010.html) Thanks Jordan.. for citing the Sutra, for any involvement you may have in relief efforts, and for your dedication to practice..

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

G,
Thanks for posting the Meta Sutra,
And for the snacks which arrived about a week ago...

I tried to post this comment before but it failed to register.

Happi said...

You're oh so welcome. The Metta Sutra really resonates with me, especially these days.

I'm glad the package made it. I only wish I'd sent more now... And thanks for your package. The tea is really amazing and so sweet.

So good to hear from you..

Happi said...

I've now developed a distinct preference for expensive green tea.. arghh ;-)

Anonymous said...

The Metta Sutra is beautiful. More people should read it, think about it, and take it to heart. Danke for posting it.

Happi said...

Hi Mom! You're welcome! I'm glad you like it.