The power of metta

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

The power of metta

Postby Jason » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:36 pm

I seriously have a hard time believing that the cultivation of metta can protect one from fire, poison, knives and spears (see this thread). Does anybody take this seriously?
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: The power of metta

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:03 pm

Greetings Jason,

Jason wrote:I seriously have a hard time believing that the cultivation of metta can protect one from fire, poison, knives and spears (see this thread). Does anybody take this seriously?


At a minimum, I think that if someone is replete with lovingkindness, they're not going to act in such ways that anyone would want to harm with poison, knives, spears or having their house burned down.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The power of metta

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:12 am

I guess it comes from here.
"Monks, for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?

"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.

"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."

As I read this in light of your question, Jason, I notice that many of these benefits seem to relate to mental phenomena. I wonder if the fire, poison and weapons that cannot touch one are the fire of greed, the poison of delusion and the weapons of hatred as states of mind. Because these things certainly could be contravened through the practice of metta.

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: The power of metta

Postby nathan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:31 pm

Jason wrote:I seriously have a hard time believing that the cultivation of metta can protect one from fire, poison, knives and spears (see this thread). Does anybody take this seriously?
I know for a repeatedly reconfirmed fact that it works with fire, poison, knives, guns, people, dogs, bears, cougars, whales, eagles and all kinds of other stuff you also probably would not believe if I mentioned it.

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But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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