The importance of friendliness (metta)

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The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:06 pm

I've noticed lately the value of friendliness, in a certain context.

When you're interacting with random strangers, be friendly. People aren't friendly because they lack wisdom or compassion. If they lack compassion, they're not friendly because they're arrogant and mean. If they lack wisdom, they're not friendly because they're nice people, but they're socially awkward. Lacking social skills, they feel nervous even when just a random stranger says hello.

When you're friendly, it feels good when other people are friendly back. But they won't always be, especially in urban areas. Other people are unfriendly for the same reasons mentioned above: they're mean and arrogant or they lack social skills.

But you should be friendly regardless, saying hello to people, holding doors and elevators, helping people pick things up when they drop them, etc.. You don't have to like doing it. I too don't see the necessity in small talk, for my own sake, but it is worth making the effort to say hello to people and ask how they're doing.

Because correct me if I'm wrong, but the people of this realm today are friendly to the degree that I was friendly in the past.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:46 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

The Four Sublime States - Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity by Nyanaponika Thera

and

The Practice of Loving Kindness (Metta) As Taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon - Texts compiled and translated by Ñanamoli Thera

http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh006-p.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:47 pm

Hello Individual, all,

A little more:

Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies - For the integration of scholarly understanding and meditative insight

Scroll down to Sutta Studies for:
New "Mettā in other Suttas" materials are now posted for the December 2010 full moon.
We continue with the subject of mettā in other Pali suttas, this month from the Itivuttaka. Click here to see these materials or download a pdf of this new set of translations and reflections for practice.
All the previous developed materials on the Mettā Sutta are still available: click here for the Mettā Sutta on our Sutta Studies page.
To get notice of new material added each month, sign up for the BCBS email newsletter. (See the "Sign Up" link at the top left of this page.)
Click here for a full description and links to individual features on the Mettā Sutta.

http://www.dharma.org/bcbs/ReadingRoom.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby Tranquility Base » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:38 pm

I wholeheartedly agree Individual. I am always friendly, by nature. But the last few years i've noticed that the children of today (especially) are not graced in social mannerisms. This is definitely from upbringing/ignorance. but the more of us that continue along our path and keep doing the 'friendly thing,' as you mentioned, perhaps we'll touch a life and make a change. Great post :)
Nichole
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Re: The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby Nibbida » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 am

This is a really good point. There was a point in my life where if I extended some form of kindness or friendliness to a person, either a total stranger or someone I just didn't know very well, and they didn't return the friendliness, I would take it very personally and feel annoyed. This is completely not the case for me now. If they do return the friendliness, then I feel grateful for it. If they do not, then I take it as an indication that maybe they didn't see/hear me, misunderstood, are caught up in their own dukkha for the moment, feel awkward, etc. Rather than anger, there is understanding and compassion. No matter what the case, I am filled with warmth and understanding. I even enjoy going about my day doing mini-mettas toward people I pass, a simple "May you be happy and well."


“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy…I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”
--George Bernard Shaw, Man and superman



Here's another good one on the topic that I just happened to come across:

Metta: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love by Acharya Buddharakkhita
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el365.html
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: The importance of friendliness (metta)

Postby Nibbida » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:55 am

Another goodie, a matrix of the different aspects of the Sublime Abidings:

"The Visuddhimagga Path of Purification on the Brahmavihàras Sublime Abidings," By Andrew Olendzki.
Attachments
Olendzki - Brahma Vihara Matrix.pdf
(134.44 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
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