Brahma Vihara

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Brahma Vihara

Postby FatDaddy » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:11 pm

"Monks, I don't speak of the wiping out of intentional acts that have been done & accumulated without [their results] having been experienced, either in the here & now or in a further state hereafter. Nor do I speak of the act of putting an end to suffering and stress without having experienced [the results of] intentional acts that have been done & accumulated.[1]

"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction[2] 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?"

"No, lord."

"Not doing any evil action, would he touch suffering?"

"No, lord, for when one does no evil action, from where would he touch suffering?"

"This awareness-release through good will should be developed whether one is a woman or a man. Neither a woman nor a man can go taking this body along. Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away. One [who practices this awareness-release] discerns, 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' Thus developed, the awareness-release through good will leads to non-returning for the monk who has gained gnosis here and has penetrated to no higher release.

"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 compassion...

"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 appreciation...

"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 equanimity, 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 equanimity — 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 equanimity, would he do any evil action?"

"No, lord."

"Not doing any evil action, would he touch suffering?"

"No, lord, for when one does no evil action, from where would he touch suffering?"

"This awareness-release through equanimity should be developed whether one is a woman or a man. Neither a woman nor a man can go taking this body along. Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away. One [who practices this awareness-release] discerns, 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' Thus developed, the awareness-release through equanimity leads to non-returning for the monk who has gained gnosis here and has penetrated to no higher release."

AN 10.208 PTS: A v 299


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

For some years I have been drawn to the full, systematic practice of Brahma Vihara. Every morning when I sit, after paying homage and taking refuge, I do this practice. It is like a vigorous housecleaning of my intentions. At the end, I try to non-discursively hold Metta as an object. From there I transition to the breath as the object.

This practice has helped me eliminate a great deal of anxiety and depression in my life as well given me a foundation for meditation practice.

Does anyone else do this kind of practice? Does anyone have any experience with Brahma Vihara Jhana?

Can anyone give me some clarification as to what the above Sutta is saying? In the first paragraph it seems to say that you can not wipe out results of karma in this life or in further states. In subsequent paragraphs it seems to imply that results of action can be eliminated by this practice.
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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Re: Brahma Vihara

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:20 pm

Welcome FatDaddy! Sounds like you've got an excellent practice! Metta has been on of my main practices for years but, sadly, no jhana to report as yet. :tongue: All the best!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Brahma Vihara

Postby santa100 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:40 pm

FatDaddy wrote:
"Can anyone give me some clarification as to what the above Sutta is saying? In the first paragraph it seems to say that you can not wipe out results of karma in this life or in further states. In subsequent paragraphs it seems to imply that results of action can be eliminated by this practice."

I think the first paragraph is a general statement that applies to regular worldlings while the subsequent paragraphs are more focused on a noble disciple. The case of Angulimala would clarify this:

"Bear it, brahmin! Bear it, brahmin! you are experiencing here and now the result of deeds because of which you might have been tortured in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years" ~~ MN 86 ~~ (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

From Ven. Thanissaro's note #3, also check AN 3.99 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ) for more detail explanation about kamma..
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Re: Brahma Vihara

Postby FatDaddy » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks for the responses.

santa100 wrote:I think the first paragraph is a general statement that applies to regular worldlings while the subsequent paragraphs are more focused on a noble disciple. The case of Angulimala would clarify this:

"Bear it, brahmin! Bear it, brahmin! you are experiencing here and now the result of deeds because of which you might have been tortured in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years" ~~ MN 86 ~~ (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

From Ven. Thanissaro's note #3, also check AN 3.99 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ) for more detail explanation about kamma..


Excellent point!
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
User avatar
FatDaddy
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:49 am
Location: Buckle of the Bible belt


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