Coyote wrote:danieLion wrote:"Metta as a Path to Awakening." by John Peacock
May you grow fat with friendliness.
Thanks Daniel, these have been very helpful. I notice that the speaker recognises that Metta can lead directly to liberation rather than just to a better birth; is he being unorthodox here or is this something that is taught within the Theravada?reflection wrote:Metta directly targets one of the "three fires", namely hatred. It is also one of the hindrances in meditation.
Therefore it is very useful to cultivate metta.
Here is where my understanding stops - I think it is because I have not had a sufficient grounding in basics such as these - are these "three fires", hatred, ignorance and attachment, the primary chains keeping us in Samasra, and does the threefold division of the noble eightfold path correspond to these "three fires"? Thank you for your explanation, I am having trouble piecing together these concepts in my mind.
The three fires (greed, hatred, delusion) are also known as the three poisons and are indeed the main things that keep us from enlightenment. They do not one-on-one correspond to the three parts of the path, though. Of course they do indirectly, because the path is what supresses them.
But if you want to put the pieces together, it's probably is clearer in meditation. Hatred towards others, yourself or even situations can really be an obstacle in meditation, it prevents you from getting relaxed and focussed. Metta is a direct counter to this and learning when you can apply it is very useful. So I really recommend doing some metta once in a while. Some traditions even make it their main practice of meditation, which I think is totally understandable, because as a side-effect it also represses the other hindrances. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_hindrances.
But although a lot of things in the dhamma are numbered and listed, I think you should always keep in mind that these things may just be indicators of what is going on and do not describe everything fully; if the dhamma could be fully explained in words, we would all be enlightened after reading the suttas