Aloka wrote:I think you missed my point, Linda. I don't think its about trying to save all sentient beings, that's a Mahayana concept.
Seems we get to play "point ping pong", Aloka, because if I missed your point being about "saving all sentient beings" it might be because that wasn't *my* point, and I thought you were addressing what I was saying, not something else.
I said, "Are you thinking that the point of the Buddha's teaching is just to teach each individual that their dukkha is all that matters?"
Are you, then, suggesting that the Buddha is teaching that an individual *should* only care about their own suffering?
I said, "The Buddha's methods don't seem to me to be aimed at liberating individuals so much as at reducing suffering in the world for all beings, liberated or not." You can see, there, can't you, that I wasn't talking about the Mahayana concept of liberating all beings, or even ending all suffering? I had said, "It looks to me as though he is most often talking about how what we do affects others... you might want to notice that the things he's counseling us not to do -- kill, steal, or speak divisively, for example -- are all things that harm others."
Do you, then, disagree that in the lists of "virtuous behavior" acts that will harm others predominate? The only exception I can think of offhand is "wrong view" which might seem internal on the surface, but wrong view leads to all the other bad behaviors -- it is wrong view that is their ultimate cause. So, really, the point of wrong view is really that it leads to bad behavior that harms others.
Aloka wrote:...and if one's mind is always "engaged in the limitless practice of metta" it doesn't mean it's necessarily free from delusion, even though its a positive practice to do.
And yet, the Buddha points out that if one was constantly engaged in metta practice, one could not do things that would bring dukkha.
"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He discerns, 'Before, this mind of mine was limited & undeveloped. But now this mind of mine is immeasurable & well developed. And whatever action that was done in a measurable way does not remain there, does not linger there.'
"What do you think, monks: If that youth, from childhood, were to develop the awareness-release through good will, would he do any evil action?"
"Not doing any evil action, would he touch suffering?"
"No, lord, for when one does no evil action, from where would he touch suffering?"
-- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html