True Love Knows No Boundaries

One of the most beautiful teachings of the Buddha was his teaching that true love knows no boundaries. This idea was expressed in the metta sutta as a mother’s love for her child:

Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart, should one cherish all living beings.

~ The Buddha – Karaniya Metta Sutta

Cosmic BuddhaThe metta sutta teaches about the four immeasurable minds. These are maitri which means loving kindnesskaruna which means compassion, mudita which means sympathetic joy, and upeksa meaning equanimity or even inclusiveness.

The cultivation of these immeasurable minds begins with the metta meditation practices. Many different forms of metta meditation practice are taught by different teachers.

I am going to present here the way I teach metta practice. The stages are:

1. Find a comfortable position where you will not be disturbed for up to 9 minutes or more.

2. Turn off your cell phone and eliminate as much disturbance as possible.

3. Sit quietly with your back erect on lie down in a comfortable position.

4. Shower the following living kindness blessings on yourself for one to three times. Optionally, you can spend the whole period within this step until you get the hang of offering yourself compassion.

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I know the beauty and the radiance of my own true nature.
May I healthy.
May I be happy, truly happy.

5. Call to mind the people in your immediate family – your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, etc. – even if you are sure you never want to have anything to do with them again. Then shower the same loving kindness blessings on them (substituting “you” or “they” for “I” and “your” or “their” for “my” in the above verses).

6. Call to mind your siblings and their families, if you have them. Otherwise, please feel free to skip this step. Repeat step 5 for your siblings and their families, even if you are at odds with any or all of them.

7. Call to mind any sentient beings you know who are suffering, even those in steps 4-6. Open your heart to their suffering. Recognize that suffering is part of the experience of being alive. Shower the loving kindness blessings (step four) on them.

8. Imagine the Earth, floating like a jewel in the vast emptiness of space with its blue oceans, white snow capped mountains, brown deserts, green pastures, and lovely rain forests. Imagine all the people and other sentient beings living on a beautiful planet that sustains life. Then, shower the following loving kindness blessings on the Earth and its inhabitants:

May there be peace on Earth.
May the hearts of all beings be open.
May they know the beauty and the radiance of their own true nature.
May they be healthy.
May they be free and happy. Truly happy.

9. Take a few moments to contemplate your experience before getting up. You may want to write down what you experienced.

I have been doing this practice for almost 25 years. One of the most significant results is the cultivating loving kindness has generated the cultivation of compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity as well.

Please try this metta meditaiton and share your insights. Would you like to have my audio recording of metta meditation?

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