2021-06-10 Metta Sutta (4 of 5) Culitivating a Boundless Heart
10:04PM Jun 11, 2021
Then this is the fourth talk on the metta suta, and the discourse on loving kindness. And in the first talk, I said there was divided into four parts. And maybe, maybe we are, but it's also I'll do five talks. So the next section of it is about the cultivation of loving kindness. So first is kind of the, the, the wholesome qualities of heart and mind that we cultivate on the path to liberation. And then it's the wish, having this a wish, the wish, doesn't have to be with these words, but wish that for all beings to be happy and safe. And then to really get to the bottom to work with our aversion or anger, resentments. Because these are limit us, these are a narrowing of the scope of the mind and awareness involves a preoccupation to be angry and resentful. And when we're preoccupied, there's no room for really taking in the world, taking in others in an open hearted, open minded way. And then, kind of with that as a foundation, then the practice of this, of this discourse of loving kindness goes on to emphasize the cultivating a boundless heart, cultivating and developing with loving kindness, cultivating an unlimited heart or mind. And so, it's not just simply having wishes, and simply having the you saying phrases over and over again, it's not really the point, the loving kindness, with the phrases are there to support and help if we do them if they help, to create this open awareness, this openness of heart, this ability to be wide, to include others into our awareness, without contracting or narrowing or resisting, in there without getting caught up in desires and aversions and fears, very simple state of mind, that's there that's open and available, to really absorbed or taken or received experience. But so open, so boundless in a sense, that it doesn't stick with us that doesn't, the others kind of almost like, more transparent, and things just go right through us. Not because we're dismissing them, but because it's the limitations of the mind the way that we contract and, and get preoccupied, that are sticky. And we get caught in the world of other people in our world of our reactions. And then moving to the mind that's free, is a mind that is not as no stickiness in it. So I think it's just kind of a fully experienced, but they also in a sense, go through or don't stick anywhere. So this is called an unlimited mind or heart to boundless heart and mind. And so this next section then goes like this. And on YouTube, you'll see it in the description of this episode that's on the underneath the video. If you click on show more, you scroll down, you'll see that this fourth part of the meta suitum as a mother would risk her life, to protect her child, her only child, so towards all beings, should one cultivate a boundless heart, with loving kindness for the whole world should one cultivate a boundless heart, above, below and all around without obstructions, without hate, and without ill will. So for some people, it's touching metaphor, this idea of a mother with a single child, going to the extent of protecting the child and that the risk of her own life
you know, that it involves a kind of non self preoccupation. And when I was a parent of young children, especially, it's felt was much more acute then where it just didn't feel so important. I was willing to put aside all kinds of personal needs Because it just seemed like the importance of this childhood, just little baby you couldn't take care of itself was so much more important. And there was this wonderful feeling a healthy feeling most of the time, in this kind of just giving myself over giving myself, you know, up in a certain kind of way, for the welfare of this other person. And, and in some ways, when it was done well, I felt that, you know, wasn't because I was trying to benefit myself, but I could feel this was really good. When I did it in a ways that were unhealthy, then it will come back and bite me. And it will, you know, didn't really work. But this idea of a parent protecting their child. Now, it isn't that we're supposed to risk our lives protect all other beings in this text at least. But rather, is that kind of letting go of self is boundless. This is loss of space of for doing being inclusive of others in our hearts. That that we're cultivating in doing loving kindness practice. We're developing not only through loving kindness, but I think the path of liberation is a path that we're in the mud, the mind the heart, there's no longer as I've been saying today, limited, contracted, preoccupied. resistant, shut down, closed off, it just completely open and receptive and, and like a open window, the window, when you can just go right through or in the kids baseball, they're playing outside, won't break the glass because he just goes right through. And so, to cultivate that, and cultivate is a very powerful word. Because it doesn't mean that we supposed to do it automatically, and that you're bad if you don't, it means that there's practice, you practice it, you practice and practice and practice. This is what we're working towards. And, and it's not an more we practice, the more we're moving in this direction, if the practice as a quality tool or parts of it is this openness, as as relaxing as receptivity, this not getting tight and not getting forceful, not getting all kinds of unwholesome movements of needing and wanting and expecting and pushing away. But rather, it really has a quality that as we do the practice, something is opening, something is releasing, something's making more room, there's more more room for things. When people become mature in Buddhist practice, their mind has lots of room for things, infinite room. And sometimes you can feel that spaciousness in others, because their mind doesn't move as much. You don't you don't find them, you don't see the mind jumping around or you don't see the agitation or the restlessness or the or the deflecting or the turning away. There's an openness and a quiet, willing just be there and kind of open stillness, in that maturity. With loving kindness, for the whole world, should want to cultivate a boundless heart. So this is the, you know, the upper reaches of real loving kindness. Certainly, in the privacy of own meditation, alone, it's easy to love everyone relatively easy to love everyone. And to feel like universal love is a great thing. But it's when we really run into people and are working with people and, and engaging in people and sharing lives with people, that the idea of loving all beings sometimes just gets lost. And it's you know, recedes from importance because of the drama and the preoccupations and the importance and the irritation and the injustice of whatever's happening in the moment with and, and so the idea of cultivating a boundless heart, with loving kindness for the whole world, is the direction we're going.
But to do that is not only learning how to let go a lot, but it's also learning how to be wise, and have street smarts about how that is expressed and how to live in this world. It's so complicated and difficult, and how to live it in a limited in a safe way, in a wise way and in a so that we could have this boundless loving kindness. We don't want to do boundless loving kindness in binary and be naive, and a certain kind of way, easily victimized by what goes on around us. cultivate a boundless heart, with loving kindness for the whole world should want to cultivate a boundless heart, above, below and all around without obstruction without hate and without the ill will. So this obstructions sways his mind is limited. The two that are really big in relationship to our capacity for love is hate and lol, big words, but they have a very, they can have very subtle manifestations. And sometimes it's a subtlest manifestations that are really the cutting edge, the growing edge of our practice. So even the subtle ways we don't overlook, we don't say doesn't matter and, you know, or, you know, it's just easier just to go ahead and do it and, and but you know, even the subtlest forms of hate the new will to find out how to live without those obstructions without those limitations. So cultivating a boundless heart above, below and all around. Some people experience this as a kind of a radiance, a glow a warm, some people as a sense of light, that's not really light. But that's the closest the clarity, the openness that feels like it's radiating light, and, and the city of radiance. loving kindness is based on the idea of an intention. But that intention doesn't have to be a mental exercise we keep saying words of May all beings be happy. The words are can be useful. But as a practice, as the heart gets more and more boundless, it becomes more of a glow, more of a clarity, more of a openness, that we can feel that goes out in all directions. 360 degrees all around, is the attention is not focused narrowly on something not only that, but it's opened up 360 degrees, with a kindness with the goodwill with the friendliness with the radiance, glow of kindness. above, below and all around. It's phenomenal. The human capacity to dwell in love to dwell in goodwill, to dwell in kindness and friendliness. It's phenomenal that we can kind of have that be the predominant mood, the predominant field of attention, the predominant flow of concern that we have, and, and to be integrated and harmonize. And all of us kind of all of us kind of centered in in in metta is a phenomenal capacity that we should be born this way to have this capacity is just fantastic. And it's a capacity we can cultivate and develop and grow. And sometimes it's done intentionally doing metta practice. And sometimes it's a byproduct of just doing mindfulness practice. As mindfulness frees us from the limitations of the mind, we can begin to recognize that in fact, living in our hearts, waiting for us has been love has been goodwill. And then it's a matter of making more space for it. Just as you make space for more people in your heart. You make more space in your heart, for your love. So thank you, and then we still have one more talk on the sukha tomorrow.