Ravana wrote:Not really interested in getting into a debate here, but isn't there a sutta where the Buddha tells a Brahmin that the four Brahmaviharas are a way to meet Brahma (i.e. to be reborn in the Brahma-realms through achieving jhana)?
Yes, but Buddha clearly states, BUDDHA KNOWS THE PATH TO BRAHMA. Through taking refuge in Buddha it becomes possible.
True metta can only come from a true heart. A true heart is what discerns Buddha Dhamma from other dhammas:
And I tell you, ignorance has its nutriment. It is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for ignorance?
The five hindrances (sensual desire or kammachanda, ill will or Vyapada, sloth and
drowsiness or thina-middha, restless and worry or uddhacca-kukkucca and doubt or vicikiccha)
And what is the nutriment for the five hindrances?
The three forms of misconduct...
And what is the nutriment for the three forms of misconduct (bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct)?
Lack of restraint of the senses...
And what is the nutriment for lack of restraint of the senses?
Lack of mindfulness & alertness...
And what is the nutriment for lack of mindfulness & alertness?
And what is the nutriment for inappropriate attention?
Lack of faith...
And what is the nutriment for lack of faith (in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha)?
Not hearing the true Dhamma...
And what is the nutriment for not hearing the true Dhamma (Buddha Dhamma)?
Associating with people without integrity.AN 10 Yamakavaggo Avijja Suttam
So a person outside the Buddha dhamma, does not have integrity, without a true heart, one cannot practice real metta. By real metta (kindness), I mean metta is complete and comes from a heart that is true, from a person of integrity.