metta to a bad person

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metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:18 am

If in metta wish someone health - and his a bad person - if we really wish him to be healthy -it can be problematic cause a bad person will use his health to do more bad things - thoughts?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby greenthumb » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:23 am

I think the best revenge would be to see a mean person healthy and happy. I always give metta to those who vexed me the most, they have been my best teachers. I stay far away from mean people as much as possible...
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Ben » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:27 am

Metta is not conditional nor selective.
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby fivebells » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:30 am

Thanissaro's response to this dilemma is that you wish for every being to know the true causes of happiness. Then they won't behave badly.
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:39 am

Thanissaro's response to this dilemma is that you wish for every being to know the true causes of happiness. Then they won't behave badly.


thanks - yes my dillema in the past was solved by this answer - and i carried on with the metta practice BUT what satrted bugging me now is - isnt this like wishing for that person to change himself - its like wishing metta to what that person could be
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Aloka » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:13 am

isnt this like wishing for that person to change himself - its like wishing metta to what that person could be


Metta is non-judgemental and to quote Ajahn Jayasaro in his 5 minute metta instruction video "a sense of warmth and loving kindness to all beings"

There is already a metta thread in the General Theravada Discussions forum which might be if interest to you :

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19010

Kind regards,

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:17 am

That thread was what made me want to renew my metta practice

I am asking about the part where you wish a specific person good health
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:36 am

It is often seen that people with more ignorance , unconsciously use subtle sensations in furthering the misconception of a self and becoming all the more self interested . Unfortunately both the feel good factor and feel horrible factor works to their disadvantage . This can be seen in the body languages of people whom we encounter in our day to day living .

Therefore , in extending metta , its nice to also include that may our own wrong views and the wrong views of others keep crumbling away :smile:

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:40 am

purple planet wrote:If in metta wish someone health - and his a bad person - if we really wish him to be healthy -it can be problematic cause a bad person will use his health to do more bad things - thoughts?

First of all, a bad person does not exist. People do both good and bad actions. If they do mostly good actions, we call them "a good person," if they do mostly bad actions, we call them "a bad person."

If we are thinking of a person's bad actions, and we wish them to be happy, regardless of our wishes they will experience the results of their bad actions, so they will not find happiness. What we should wish is for them to not do bad actions, but to do good ones.

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:02 am

First of all, a bad person does not exist. People do both good and bad actions. If they do mostly good actions, we call them "a good person," if they do mostly bad actions, we call them "a bad person."


of course - lets say a killer/rapist of many people who is mostly "bad actions" if he gets health and feels strong he will probably kill/rape more than he usually would do
If we are thinking of a person's bad actions, and we wish them to be happy, regardless of our wishes they will experience the results of their bad actions, so they will not find happiness


when i wish people health i need to really mean it as if its true

What we should wish is for them to not do bad actions, but to do good ones.


so isnt it to make them change

lets say its 1939 and hitler is alive : "i wish hitler will be healthy - ......... AND may he do good karma and feel calm and have equanimity and reach nirvana= i wish he would act differntly "

So i am not only wishing him health - but health IF he changes his action cause if not it will help him do bad karma

(as all my posts its statements/questions so correct them as you see fit)
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby seeker242 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:21 pm

I personally don't think you can separate wishing someone good health and wishing someone true happiness, freedom, etc. Metta is all inclusive of all those things, all at the same time. Do we want the murderer to be happy? Of course, because if he was he would not be a murderer to begin with. If you are just wishing someone good health and thats it, then you aren't capturing the essence of what metta really is. Making Judgments while doing metta is not really the proper way to do it IMO.

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:26 pm

purple planet wrote:of course - lets say a killer/rapist of many people who is mostly "bad actions" if he gets health and feels strong he will probably kill/rape more than he usually would do

If he is happy, and free from anger, he won't kill or rape. If he kills or rapes, then he is mentally sick. We should wish for him to be mentally healthy as well as physically healthy, but mental health is more important.
purple planet wrote:when i wish people health i need to really mean it as if its true

Yes, metta must be impartial, and sincere, to be genuine. We must sincerely wish for them to be free from unwholesome mental states, and full of wholesome mental states. Then they will do good and be happy.
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby dagon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:34 pm

Hi PP

I once listen to a talk by Ajahn Brahm were he told the story of a funeral at which the man’s wife was talking. She told how when he was at school and there were arguments in the class the teacher got all the kids to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. They were told to put everything they disliked about their enemies in call in one column. When they had done this they had to write a list of all the good things about that person on the other side. They then had to cut it in 2 and drop the dislikes into a bin. The like’s side was handed to the one that they had been arguing with. The wife pulled out this piece of paper that the man had carried for 40 years – then several other class mates who were at the funeral did the same thing.

I work with someone who I have yet to find anyone who likes her – we were having conflicts. Because this was affecting what I am trying to do with my practice, I took the idea from the talk and used it to help me.

The dislike/bad column was so easy to write – lots of material. The second column was much harder.
Afterward I took the first column and examined it carefully and looked to see if any of the faults were present in me. I found that the easiest faults to find in other people are those that we have in ourselves. One of the reasons why we have aversions to some people is that there faults cause us to be embarrassed – mirrors don’t always show us what we want to see. Retaking precepts afterwards maybe a good idea. :smile:

I took the second column and examined it to see what was there that I could also identify in myself. Often we are as reluctant to see what is good in us as we are to see the bad. This became my metta list. Starting with myself and working towards the “bad person“ I used this list to assist my metta practice. By the time I got to the bad person I also had to add “helping me with my development” to the list. From that point it becomes easier to generalise the metta to all people because if you can find good in you enemies then you realise that there must be good in every one.

The unexpected outcome of this was that the level of conflict declined and I was better able to maintain some level of equanimity when conflict did arise. I suspect that I had a larger role in the conflict that I had thought. This person no longer causes me to suffer because the ways I respond to her actions have changed. I now find ways of working close to that person because she helps my development. Shhh don’t tell her, she would be upset.

Maybe you can get something out of this for yourself.
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby Mr Man » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:13 pm

In my opinion you are trying to overly intellectualize.
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:21 pm

Thanks paul nice post - its true what your saying i agree

In my opinion you are trying to overly intellectualize.


you are right especially because i know how effective metta is - but this thought came up and i cant let her go - dont want to let her go



I know that we all have bad traits and good ones - and that we are all just a bunch of good and bad karma - and that if someone will be happier and calmer he will be nicer usually ...

If he is happy, and free from anger, he won't kill or rape


maybe he has ignorant and thinks that by killing people he is doing good - if his a leader and now his clamer he will make better decisions and could kill more people

but i understand we wish for that person to improve himself and be a better person

what should i wish exactly - like specificly - happiness - or true happiness (free from defilements) - or maybe just may he be free from defilements ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby reflection » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:44 pm

In my experience, when it is difficult to send metta to other beings, there can be unresolved (temporary or more ingrained) issues with metta towards myself. Only when these are gone, is the metta to other beings possible and that includes people who have done and will continue to do unskillful things. I think that's also why the Buddha's instruction on loving kindness starts with oneself.

Of course I can't say if this is true for you, but just as a general observation that the more easy it is to love oneself, the more easy it is to send that to others. There will also be no need for a specific wish because the feeling is accessible right away without words.

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:52 pm

I dont think i have a problem sending metta - last time i did it i had no problem at all

its just this dilemma accord to me - and i want to solve it before i return to do metta - which i didnt stop doing because it was hard specifically - i just stopped all meditation in general so now getting back to it this thought came to me
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby chownah » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:04 pm

purple planet,
It seems that you are of the view that metta can enable violence.......I don't see how this is possible.

Do you see sending metta as like making a wish which comes true?

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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby purple planet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:12 pm

Do you see sending metta as like making a wish which comes true?


no but i need to believe it does to wish it - and i do see on myself how metta can remove ill-will to a great extent and help myself - and my metta last time i did it went fine

but now after this thought came up i would like to resolve this issue before returning to doing metta again
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: metta to a bad person

Postby chownah » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:23 pm

purple planet wrote:
Do you see sending metta as like making a wish which comes true?


no but i need to believe it does to wish it - and i do see on myself how metta can remove ill-will to a great extent and help myself - and my metta last time i did it went fine

but now after this thought came up i would like to resolve this issue before returning to doing metta again

I believe that what you are saying is that you need to pretend that sending metta is like making a wish that comes true in order for you to do it. Instead of pretending that metta can somehow enable a person to be violent why not instead pretend that a bad person has no self and the metta will somehow calm the clinging aggregates and this would help to reduce the intentions inherent in violent actions.
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