2021-06-09-Metta Sutta-With No Anger
1:44AM Jun 10, 2021
We continue then with a series of talks on the metta suta. The discourse on loving kindness. And I say, as I'm doing it this week is by dividing the text into parts, kind of a kind of four parts. And this coming next part is the shortest part of the text. And kind of, paradoxically, ironic, ironically, in the classic instructions for loving kindness practice, which is founded in a fifth century meditation manual by a teacher named Buddha Gosha. It's a big book called The path of purification. And that's where the modern practice of loving kindness, the most common way to practice comes from this particular book. And it's a big manual on meditation. And the ninth chapter of the book is about the Brahma vihara, meditation, the meditations of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. And, and the biggest discussion about that is about the first one loving kindness. But in the in the section about loving kindness, most of that section, many, many pages, I have to do about overcoming resentment and anger. Because I guess that my biggest obstacles for loving kindness is that we have resentment towards someone and it's hard to have kindness or goodwill towards them, or anger towards them. And so it's really a treatise or instructions on overcoming anger more than it is teachings on loving kindness. So in the metta suta, this next part is about that. But it's only four lines. And at this time, I think I've succeeded in posting this part of the method directly what I've done so far, in the YouTube page where it says it'll description of what we're doing underneath the video. And if you click on, show more, I think it will show it to you. At the bottom of that is let no one deceive another, or despise anyone, anywhere. Let no one through anger or aversion, wish for others to suffer. So here we have a call to put aside anything that gets in the way of the goodwill. But this text is not only about loving kindness, it's really about the path to liberation, through loving kindness, and the path of liberation cannot be found in being angry or despising or having aversion towards anyone, especially that there is a wish for them to suffer, threatening a certain kind of hostility. And this that kind of feeling that attitude, as really goes against the grain of, of liberation, because it involves getting liberated, it involves getting entangled or in bondage or caught, not free if we're caught in resentment or anger. And now, it's not necessarily all anger, but the anger, any anger that involves hostility, any anger that involves ill will towards someone wishing others to suffer. And so in this classic text on loving kindness, then a big section is about overcoming anger and resentment. And it's kind of fun to read because he gives instructions about what you can do. And then he says, Well, if that doesn't work, then try this. And then he says, if that doesn't work, try this. If that doesn't work, try this. And, and he goes through a whole series of you know, options. And then finally, as a last one. If nothing else works, then he says, get involved in the practice of gift giving. So either give the person that you're angry with or hostile, give them a gift or allow them to give a gift to you. So either direction, whatever is happening or easy.
That's The final the most you know, the last resort for, for overcoming anger and resentment. And I don't know why it has to be last by not just first. But anyway, it's the last one. And in between, there are things like just drumming up loving kindness for them, or thinking about the good qualities that person has. or thinking about how when there's anger and resentment, the person who has the anger, the resentment is harming themselves. And, and they're causing a literally says is causing damage to oneself that the enemy cannot create. so others can kind of cause us harm in variety of ways. But that, really, we get into the deepest parts of the heart and mind. In this ancient text, the it's only you can do that by having anger or resentment or something like that. So there's all these things to do. And maybe each of you has your own effective way of and an effective and skillful and respectful way of working with anger and resentments and aversion hostility. I like to think of these states of mind as something that deserves that deserves the right word, but something that is well worth respecting. So not to have an automatic hostility towards our hostility, not to have an automatic aversion to aversion or, or ill will, but to understand to have respect for it. Sometimes we respect things which are dangerous. And so we respect these things, but the states are dangerous. We respect them partly because of their danger. And we want to be very careful with them. And so they don't cause harm, or you don't succumb to the danger that they bring, but also that they are kind of like messengers, and you don't want to kill the messenger. And the messenger, sometimes is that we are hurting in some ways, or the messenger is that there's something about ourselves, that feels scared, or the message is that there's something unwholesome going on inside of us. And that unwholesomeness needs attention if we want to find our way to the wholesome. And so, in fact, what is unwholesome inside of us, might be the thing that most needs, our goodwill needs, our compassion needs, our generosity of spirit. If we keep pushing away, what's unwholesome inside of us or pushing it down? It just festers and it just gets worse. And, and, and we live kind of A divided life between what we're willing to face and what we're ignoring. And, and the end, so anger sometimes is perceived as a messenger. And what is the message, what's underneath the anger, what's behind that, and not a few times, part of what anger is, is something in ourselves, that needs goodwill that needs to be reassured, that needs maybe to be let go of, but not let go with hostility, but put down with respect and care. That it comes to, you know, that's there. So this idea of living a wholesome life means to bring a wholesomeness to those parts of ourselves which are unwholesome. So in a sense, be our own friend that way. And so when this meta sutra says, Let no one deceive another, or despise anyone, anywhere, let no one through anger aversion wish for others to suffer, that I see this first and foremost is extracted towards ourselves. And that we, we don't want to be this kind of way. We don't want to deceive anyone else, or despise anyone, and not be angry or aversive towards anyone. And so to really cultivate putting those down to cultivate the absence of this deception, the absence of tricking people or, or presenting ourselves different, who we are getting people to do what we want to kind of little bit through manipulation. Or just don't despise anyone, respect to everyone. don't despise yourself. So, to enter this world of are unwholesome and begin looking how to put it down, relax it, heal it. Bring forth what is wholesome
and, and and put down any hostility So, let no one through anger and aversion wish for others to suffer. Now, logically, maybe, or, you know, it doesn't seem like anyone or any of you want that. But to be mean towards someone to say something slightly mean or even sarcastic, critical, kind of underneath that it is a little bit like poking people maybe or getting back at people or, or, you know, someone says something not so nice to ourselves, and we kind of respond and kind, because we want to get back at them. There's all kinds of small ways in which we are not, we kind of kind of trying to irritate people or get back at them get revenge or something. And even complaining, sometimes it's more than just complaining, it's kind of a critique or criticism that's kind of poking at people. And, and so the idea is, if you really want to cultivate loving kindness really want to cultivate the path of liberation, there's a profound thing to be done a healthy, very healthy thing to be done. A, I would say, a very inspiring thing to do. And that is to, to overcome any tendency towards hostility, to learn to recognize it when it comes up, and not given to it, to learn to recognize it and comes up and meet it with what's wholesome. And, and so that our intention, the way that we are motivated to live our life isn't as, even though there might be some feelings that are difficult, angry feelings, and all that. The important thing is the intention, then what drives how we speak and act in the world. And in there, have no wish for others to suffer. Rather, this is the wish this is the intention that come from, and that's the section just before that, and the poem may all be happy and secure. May all beings be happy at heart, all living beings, whether weak or strong, tall, large, medium, or short, tiny or big, seen or unseen, born or to be born, may they all be happy. So that's the art of loving kindness is to discover how to have this be the motivating force inside of us, this kind of goodwill, having put aside the ill will that's there or not acting on it and healing it in some deep way. And so it's a this is a worthwhile very worthwhile way of living and practicing. And and imagine that if you've memorized that the metta suta, and recited these words every day, this is a classic practice and in Buddhism is to memorize a text like this, and say it yourself over and over again. And see the effect that has on us of saying these kinds of words. So thank you, and we can all continue tomorrow.