Metta towards animals?

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Metta towards animals?

Postby Stephen K » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:53 pm

Would it be unwholesome for one to include one's pet in one's metta bhavana?
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:08 pm

would it be unwholesome to include oneself, family or friends in standard practice?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Stephen K » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:14 pm

Manapa wrote:would it be unwholesome to include oneself, family or friends in standard practice?

No.

But I've just never heard or read of animals being included. Hence why I asked.
:smile:
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby bodom » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:21 pm

I always include my animals in my metta practioce as well as all the sick, homeless and hungry animals in the world.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:43 pm

Metta is for sentient beings. And animals are sentient.

This is also something that really needs a bit of attention in our times, I think. The way animals are treated, the rights they are accorded... It's a sad sad situation, IMO.

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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Chula » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:44 pm

From Karanīya Metta Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html):

"Think: Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far,
born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart."
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:47 pm

Stefan wrote:
Manapa wrote:would it be unwholesome to include oneself, family or friends in standard practice?

No.

But I've just never heard or read of animals being included. Hence why I asked.
:smile:


Have a read of the Karaniya metta sutta

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.



there is a related one on snakes but cant think of the exact sutta to provide a link, but the reason I asked was because pets tend to fall into one of two catagories friends or family members, I know my cat while she was alive was part of my family, and she is my little sister, every time I have a hard time with metta for myself I bring her to mind laying belly up on my knees, or me scootching allong the floor on my bum to get the remote because she is fast asleep on my knees or simply refusing to move, or sticking her tongue out while she was sleeping.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby bodom » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:24 am

In Ajahn Brams book Minfulness bliss and beyond he tells of using the thought of a kitten to jumpstart his metta practice .

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:49 am

I find it a lot easier to be friendly towards animals than I do some humans, put it that way ;)
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby bodom » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:25 am

BlackBird wrote:I find it a lot easier to be friendly towards animals than I do some humans, put it that way ;)


Yes i agree with that lol.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:33 am

BlackBird wrote:I find it a lot easier to be friendly towards animals than I do some humans, put it that way ;)

Ditto! :toast:

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Stephen K » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:36 pm

Right, what I meant was: usually we send metta to five persons - an extremely intimate, a lovable, an indifferent, an unpleasant, and a hostile one. Could one include one's pet in one of these, e.g. as a 'lovable'?
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby bodom » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:53 pm

Stefan wrote:Right, what I meant was: usually we send metta to five persons - an extremely intimate, a lovable, an indifferent, an unpleasant, and a hostile one. Could one include one's pet in one of these, e.g. as a 'lovable'?


The five person metta scheme is a commentarial explanation by Buddhagosa of how mettabhavana should be progressive. The Buddha never taught metta this way. The only way he instructed was to pervade the four quarters with the brahmaviharas. Metta practice should not be limited to only five persons but to all beings. I recommend reading Bhante G's new book Mindfulness in Plain English as he gives excellent and alternative explanations of how to practice metta.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta towards animals?

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:49 pm

.

In the Amaravati Monastery chanting book, the chant of the Buddha's words on loving kindness includes:

" May all living beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none."


:anjali:
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