I think The Five Daily Recollections is probably one of the most healthy meditations a human being can do. You are preparing for things that will happen, before those things happen.
I would agree that it probably is one of the most spiritually healthy (would prefer the helpful) things that most people can do. In my case there are other areas of meditation where I get a lot more benefit at this time.
There is a near universal folk belief that you tend to get what you focus on?
From what I have seen folk beliefs tend to be localised rather than universal so I am not sure that I understand what you are saying. The only thing that I have found that is truly universal are the truths taught by the Buddha.
Buddhism, in the suttas and in ethnic folk beliefs claims that focusing on metta will produce all sorts of good things.
I am glad to see that you recognise that the level of synchronicity between what the suttas say and what “ethnic folk” believe. I am particularly happy about this as I have an ethnicity as do we all – or were you using the word ethnic with a different connotation? (That they claim) that focusing on metta will produce all sorts of good things could have a lot of different meanings. I only know what I think and what I have experienced, so I would have to say that it has proved to be a very wholesome part of my practice that has assisted my ethical standards; helped to open my mind to the Dhamma and reduced my suffering.
So, according to Buddhism/Buddhists, why wouldn't focusing on death, sickness, aging, loss with The Five Daily Recollections and meditations on death bring more experiences of death,sickness and loss into a person's life?
The suffering that i experience is a direct result of the karma that i brought with me and the poor choices that i have made, not as result of any sitting or other type of meditation.
I'm not trying to be incendiary.
But you recognise that it could be seen that way.
I've seen that many people are very uncomfortable with meditations on decay and death. I'm guessing that the folk belief that you get more of what you think about, at least on an unconscious level, is partially responsible.
I cannot answer for other people but I am not uncomfortable with sickness, ageing and death. It just brings home the truth that is within the 4 Nobel Truths and the rest of the teachings. As it increases my direct testing, it increases my faith in the path that I have chosen to follow and make the Dhamma the dominant factor in my daily life.
I'm interested to see what Buddhists/Buddhism would have to say about if metta thoughts can bring good things, why wouldn't contemplating loss bring more loss?
To me that would suggest that you believe that good and loss are opposites. I guess that it in part depends on what you believe to be “good”, my view of what is good is wholesome conditions for my development and eventual liberation. The contemplation of loss of youth, health, and this life serve to ground my thoughts in reality – reality is what the Buddha taught and that is “good” for what I want. As giving metta and compassion starts with giving those things to me they help to balance the suffering I see, thus helping me to have equanimity to my situation and the situations that are likely to occur in the future. Through seeing and contemplating loss (a form of suffering) I have seen the effects of attachment and aversion and the suffering that it brings – so I have lost some of the things that hinder my development. But I have a lot more to lose and an ever reducing amount of time to achieve that loss in this lifetime.