Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.“Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha’s Words on Loving-Kindness” (Sn 1.8), translated from the Pali by The Amaravati Sangha. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 2 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html .
Humble and not conceited
This pre-requisite for the successful practice of Metta reminds me of an easy going person. Someone who is not full of himself and does not belittle others or look down upon others.
I asked myself, how is this relevant to the practice of Metta and I think the answer would be; True Loving kindness is without ego and not dependent upon social status or circumstances. When we truly wish another person or sentient being well, we do not think about social status or spiritual status. This is because loving kindness as it is, is simply goodwill. An all embracing love that is inclusive.
In this manner, the poorest person on Earth can practice Metta and wish a billionaire “may you be well and happy.” Likewise, a sick person can also wish a healthy person, “may you be well and happy”. Loving kindness transcend all man-made differences. Therefore, although we are human beings, we can also generate loving kindness towards the heavenly beings.
Let us turn it the other way round. When we are haughty and conceited, can we practice metta well?
I think that kind of practice will be stained. This is because, haughtiness and conceitedness easily breeds contempt.
There is this “I am worthier than thou” positioning in our mind. If we practice in this manner, then our metta is stained. We shouldn’t feed our ego and try to convince ourselves as being better than others.
“Oh, I am a Buddhist and knows the Dharma, all of you non-buddhist folks are so poor thing, so ignorant. May you be well and happy.” Snobbish right?
Or “I am Mahayana and you are still Hinayana, I aspire be a Buddha so that I can benefit more sentient beings, may you have wisdom to accept the Mahayana teachings one day. May you be well and happy.”
All these mentality is a no-no for Buddhist. I do not believe Buddha would teach in this manner.
Therefore, if we wish to practice Metta correctly; we need to cleanse our mind and get rid of any conceitedness or haughtiness.
May all be well and happy
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