is love of life metta?

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is love of life metta?

Postby befriend » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:07 am

hi,
this is probably a stupid question but i am wondering. is thinking thoughts about how you love life, is this a form of loving kindness. there is defenitely love involved, affection for existence and the special way humans experience reality. but life isnt exactly a sentient being. can i have metta for compassion. most of us here love compassion rejoice in its glory but is that love for compassion considered metta? thanks, befriend. :anjali:
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:25 am

No. You can only generate metta and karuna for other beings and yourself.
This "love of life" - attend to it very carefully.
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby cooran » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:35 am

Hello befriend,

A little more about Metta:

What the Buddha said about Metta
http://www.wildmind.org/metta/introduct ... uddha-said

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:22 pm

befriend wrote:hi,
this is probably a stupid question but i am wondering. is thinking thoughts about how you love life, is this a form of loving kindness. there is defenitely love involved, affection for existence and the special way humans experience reality. but life isnt exactly a sentient being. can i have metta for compassion. most of us here love compassion rejoice in its glory but is that love for compassion considered metta? thanks, befriend. :anjali:


Hi,

In other words

Love of life = attachment to existence

Life is not to be loved nor hated, but to be understood

The Noble Eight Fold Path starts with right view, one of its constituents being to distinguish wholesome from unwholesome dhammas.

We have the Buddha's detailed explanations about wholesome and unwholesome dhammas,
it is more straightforward than our speculations :-)

http://mingkok.buddhistdoor.com/en/news/d/8594
http://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/ ... c2635.html

Best wishes,
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby befriend » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:32 pm

dhammapada "all beings love life, all beings fear weapons, as one would not want to be harmed so one should not harm others" something along those lines

buddha said "life is very sweet if i could live for 100 more years i would"

"you cannot repay your parents for bringing you into this world, even if you carried them on your back your whole life, but you can repay them if you show them the path."
buddha
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby befriend » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:35 pm

in an interview with Jack Kornfield i just read in Kripalu catalog someone said why do you teach. the first thing out of his mouth was because i love life. theres was more but thats the first thing he thought of.
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:23 pm

dhammapada "all beings love life, all beings fear weapons, as one would not want to be harmed so one should not harm others" something along those lines


This is said in the context of explaining why we should train the first precept of non-killing

"you cannot repay your parents for bringing you into this world, even if you carried them on your back your whole life, but you can repay them if you show them the path."


This is said in the context of explaining the value of life as a human being, as it is an rare opportunity to work our way out of samsara.

buddha said "life is very sweet if i could live for 100 more years i would"


Could you please provide quotes for the above?

How do you define life as you experience it?

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking/feeling/imagining...?

Is any of these is permanent, satisfactory, commandable?

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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:30 pm

befriend wrote:in an interview with Jack Kornfield i just read in Kripalu catalog someone said why do you teach. the first thing out of his mouth was because i love life. theres was more but thats the first thing he thought of.


I don't know in which context he said this. Any way, even though I have lots of respect for J.K, i don't think we should consider his words as ultimate reference of wisdom while we still have the Buddha's wisdom available to us that can be verified in our own experience.

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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:37 pm

befriend wrote:buddha said "life is very sweet if i could live for 100 more years i would"


This is false. I'm not going to ask for the Sutta because it doesn't exist.

Jack Kornfield's quote is also quite beside the point, because while that may be true for him, the phrase "I love life" is strictly an example of bhavatanha (becoming-craving).

These misconceptions are causing a misunderstanding of metta. What will be important is for you to understand this misunderstanding in order to correct it. Cooran's earlier link should be your first destination.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:51 pm

Another good definition of what metta is:

Adosa can be translated as non-aversion or non-hate, but there are many forms and degrees of it. Loving kindness, mettā, is a form of adosa which is directed towards living beings. Adosa can also be non-aversion with regard to an object which is not a being and then it can be described as patience. There can be non-aversion or patience with regard to heat, cold, bodily pain or other unpleasant objects.


For the whole text on adosa:

http://www.zolag.co.uk/Cetasikas/html_n ... rsion.html

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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby Nicro » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:30 pm

daverupa wrote:
befriend wrote:buddha said "life is very sweet if i could live for 100 more years i would"


This is false. I'm not going to ask for the Sutta because it doesn't exist.

Jack Kornfield's quote is also quite beside the point, because while that may be true for him, the phrase "I love life" is strictly an example of bhavatanha (becoming-craving).

These misconceptions are causing a misunderstanding of metta. What will be important is for you to understand this misunderstanding in order to correct it. Cooran's earlier link should be your first destination.

:heart:



I think it might be a Mahayanist idea? I read the same thing in a Mahayna biography of the Buddha.
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby santa100 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:46 pm

If love of life meant attachment to life and to perpetuate one's existence, then it wouldn't be considered metta. If love of life meant respect for others life so that it's a good condition to practice loving kindness and compassion, that would be metta. (For further info. on metta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metta )
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:34 pm

Nicro wrote:I read the same thing in a Mahayna biography of the Buddha.


The only thing even remotely like this in the SuttaVinaya is the occasion in the Parinibbana Sutta where it is claimed that, due to Ananda's negligence, the Buddha, who allegedly could have lived until the end of the world-period (or at least "in excess of the life-span", depending on how the Pali is handled), did not do so because he wasn't asked.

It's an obvious insertion, wholly out of character for the Buddha, likely the result of later mythologizing.

Even taking this passage for the sake of argument (to get back on topic), if the Buddha's perfected metta did not result in the exercise of this superhuman power then we can hardly say that metta has "love of life" as a component.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby befriend » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm

i think people who hate life, and do not enjoy just being themselves, and being alive. they are not so compassionate. people who love life, maybe have some thoughts once in a while where they have gratitude for being alive, this puts a twinlkle in there eye, and are less likely to harm others, as they do not want to take the joy of life from other beings. so it might not BE metta, but i think its a foundation for it. i dont know really, im just thinking out loud. metta, befriend.
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:36 am

befriend wrote:i think people who hate life, and do not enjoy just being themselves, and being alive. they are not so compassionate. people who love life, maybe have some thoughts once in a while where they have gratitude for being alive, this puts a twinlkle in there eye, and are less likely to harm others, as they do not want to take the joy of life from other beings. so it might not BE metta, but i think its a foundation for it. i dont know really, im just thinking out loud. metta, befriend.


Hi,

We don't need to jump from one extreme to the other. As it has been said earlier, life is not to be loved, nor hated, but to be understood by wisdom.

As long as we are not anagami or arahat, we can't stop laughing, weeping, being delighted looking at the sun setting down a lake, or feeling rising affection for a little kid playing...

However, to have these natural reactions according to our inner level of wisdom is one thing, to know them for their true nature is another thing. Love for life is a refined form of craving, and as long as you don't know it for what it truly is, you are not walking the right Path. Just consider what I asked earlier about how you define life and examine all the elements making up what you call life and see whether they are permanent.

Metta has adosa (non-aversion) as foundation, which is not synonym of love for life, which falls under lobha (craving). Most people mistake craving for metta, which is understandable as our mode of functioning mostly switch from aversion to craving and vice versa. Craving has an extreme power to survive, and never one to be denounced, so it might call it-self metta :-)

You can still keep your own ideas of the Path, if you want. But since we are supposedly Buddhist, it is not better to examine the validity of our ideas under the light of wisdom that the Buddha has left, out of his infinite (true) metta and compassion?

Best wishes,
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby Guy » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:23 am

Hi Befriend,

When people say they "love life", do you think they love all aspects of life or just the pleasant parts?

Do you think that people who claim to "love life" also love: loss, disappointment, pain, grief, despair, sorrow, lamentation, old age, sickness and death?

Metta,

Guy
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1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:46 am

dhamma follower wrote:How do you define life as you experience it?

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking/feeling/imagining...?

Is any of these is permanent, satisfactory, commandable?

Best wishes,

excellent answer! :goodpost:
this should be kept in mind and considered well...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby Zom » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:58 am

in an interview with Jack Kornfield i just read in Kripalu catalog someone said why do you teach. the first thing out of his mouth was because i love life. theres was more but thats the first thing he thought of.


That's why this is much better to learn what Buddha says rather than what buddhists say.
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:14 am

acinteyyo wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:How do you define life as you experience it?

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking/feeling/imagining...?

Is any of these is permanent, satisfactory, commandable?

Best wishes,

excellent answer! :goodpost:
this should be kept in mind and considered well...


Sadhu! Sadhu!
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: is love of life metta?

Postby befriend » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:56 am

Guy wrote:Hi Befriend,

When people say they "love life", do you think they love all aspects of life or just the pleasant parts?

Do you think that people who claim to "love life" also love: loss, disappointment, pain, grief, despair, sorrow, lamentation, old age, sickness and death?

Metta,

Guy



this may sound odd. even when i feel pain when i am doing the dishes and the water is too hot, i am aware of the sensation, and am curious about the pain. i am not in suffering, then the pain reminds me i am alive. then this makes me happy. id rather feel a little pain than be dead. i disclocated my shoulder a few years ago, the strongest emotion i felt about it was gratitude. the shoulder felt awkward and painful but a sense of gratitude arose INVOLUNTARILY because although it was a unfortunate event i was stil happy because if i couldnt dislocate my shoulder i wouldnt be a live. they obvisouly dont love pain and disease, but i think its possible to appreciate life so much, that you have gratude for everything. i dont know if this is dhamma i have a lot of opinions but most of them are malleable and could very much be delusion. sadhu, befriend
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