is love of life metta?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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ground
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by ground »

befriend wrote:i think people who hate life, and do not enjoy just being themselves, and being alive. they are not so compassionate.
Ordinary consciousness is obsessed with the thought "life" as it is obsessed with the thought "compassion" when actually what is referred to with the term "compassion" is feeling. So attachment to feeling and attachment to "life" (existence) go hand in hand.
Also ordinary consciousness only knows like ("love") and dislike ("hate").


Kind regards
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Guy
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Guy »

Hi Befriend and Fede,

Thank you both for your replies.

In my experience, it is possible to embrace the unpleasant and the pleasant without desire or aversion sometimes, but, it seems another matter entirely to embrace all experience all the time with equanimity.

I cannot honestly say that I love/embrace/accept all of life equally. My understand is that such a pure mental state would only be sustainable indefinitely by an Arahant? Maybe I am wrong about this.

Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

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

- Ajahn Brahm
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Ben
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Ben »

Guy wrote:Hi Befriend and Fede,

Thank you both for your replies.

In my experience, it is possible to embrace the unpleasant and the pleasant without desire or aversion sometimes, but, it seems another matter entirely to embrace all experience all the time with equanimity.

I cannot honestly say that I love/embrace/accept all of life equally. My understand is that such a pure mental state would only be sustainable indefinitely by an Arahant? Maybe I am wrong about this.

Metta,

Guy
Keep practicing Guy and little by little you will approach the goal. In the meantime an artefact of practice, increased equanimity, will make its presence felt through every aspect of life.
All the best,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Guy
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Guy »

Thank you Ben, "slow and steady wins the race", right? :anjali:
Four types of letting go:

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

- Ajahn Brahm
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Ben
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Ben »

Guy wrote:Thank you Ben, "slow and steady wins the race", right? :anjali:
Indeed! One step in front of the other. That is all one need do to walk this path.
Step-by-step, step-by-step.
with Metta,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
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bodom
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by bodom »

Ben wrote:
Guy wrote:Thank you Ben, "slow and steady wins the race", right? :anjali:
Indeed! One step in front of the other. That is all one need do to walk this path.
Step-by-step, step-by-step.
with Metta,
Ben

One by one, little by little, moment by moment, a wise man should remove his own impurities, as a smith removes his dross from silver. - Dhp 239

:anjali:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
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Guy
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Guy »

Thanks Ben! :anjali:

Thanks Bodom! :anjali:

Most of all, thanks Buddha! :anjali: :bow: :anjali: :bow: :anjali: :bow:
Four types of letting go:

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

- Ajahn Brahm
socoguy78
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by socoguy78 »

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:

Dhamma Greetings!
There are never stupid questions... that is how we learn. Never be hard on yourself. I would have to say no that thinking thoughts about how you love life is Metta (loving-kindness). If you want to bring up the feeling of Metta... Try this. Remember back in your past of a happy joyful time. It could be a birthday, a birth, a proud moment of doing awesome in school. Anything it can be as long as it is a happy joyful memory. When you remember that memory I want you to let that memory go and keep remembering that happy joyful feeling and keep your minds attention that that feeling. You will start to feel a warm fuzzy feeling in the center of your chest radiating. That is the feeling of Metta. If you want to use it as a meditation object you will be following the brahma viharas (the 4 godly abodes) with metta as the first feeling. As you progress the feeling changes into compassion, then joy, and finnaly the best of all... equinimity where your mind will not shake at anything! BTW Equinimity is one of the Enlightenment Factors. There is a lot I left out... because it needs to be experienced and not thought about. If you keep thinking about it... the feeling is not going to come up... There will be an attatchment to it. We can't force the feeling to come, so just sit and let it be with out making it or forcing it, or thinking about it. Let the cognitive side of the mind go... and just feel that happy joyful feeling from a memory(let the memory go and don't think about it when you remember the happy joyful feeling) and place your minds attention on that happy joyful feeling.

Much Maha Metta!
Zach
Maarten
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Maarten »

If you practise metta meditation, watch the feeling you generate for all the beings out there. Then compare this feeling to what you call love of life and you have your answer. ;)
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by theY »

See bold text, all see all in my link for advance information.

[Characteristic, Etc.]

93. As to the characteristic, etc., loving-kindness is characterized here as
promoting the aspect of welfare. Its function is to prefer welfare. It is manifested
as the removal of annoyance. Its proximate cause is seeing loveableness in beings.
It succeeds when it makes ill will subside, and it fails when it produces (selfish)
affection.


94. Compassion is characterized as promoting the aspect of allaying suffering.
Its function resides in not bearing others’ suffering. It is manifested as non-
cruelty. Its proximate cause is to see helplessness in those overwhelmed by
suffering. It succeeds when it makes cruelty subside and it fails when it produces
sorrow.

95. Gladness is characterized as gladdening (produced by others’ success).12
Its function resides in being unenvious. It is manifested as the elimination of
aversion (boredom). Its proximate cause is seeing beings, success. It succeeds
when it makes aversion (boredom) subside, and it fails when it produces
merriment.

96. Equanimity is characterized as promoting the aspect of neutrality towards
beings. Its function is to see equality in beings. It is manifested as the quieting of
resentment and approval. Its proximate cause is seeing ownership of deeds
(kamma) thus: “Beings are owners of their deeds. Whose13 [if not theirs] is the
choice by which they will become happy, or will get free from suffering, or will
not fall away from the success they have reached?” It succeeds when it makes
resentment and approval subside, and it fails when it produces the equanimity
of unknowing, which is that [worldly-minded indifference of ignorance] based
on the house life.

[Purpose]

97. The general purpose of these four divine abidings is the bliss of insight
and an excellent [form of future] existence. That peculiar to each is respectively
the warding off of ill will, and so on. For here loving-kindness has the purpose
of warding off ill will, while the others have the respective purposes of warding
off cruelty, aversion (boredom), and greed or resentment. And this is said too:
“For this is the escape from ill will, friends, that is to say, the mind-deliverance of
loving-kindness ... For this is the escape from cruelty, friends, that is to say, the
mind-deliverance of compassion ... For this is the escape from boredom, friends,
that is to say, the mind-deliverance of gladness ... For this is the escape from
greed, friends, that is to say, the mind-deliverance of equanimity” (D III 248).

[The Near and Far Enemies]

98. And here each one has two enemies, one near and one far.
The divine abiding of loving-kindness [319] has greed as its near enemy,14
since both share in seeing virtues. Greed behaves like a foe who keeps close by a
man, and it easily finds an opportunity. So loving-kindness should be well
protected from it. And ill will, which is dissimilar to the similar greed, is its far
enemy like a foe ensconced in a rock wilderness. So loving-kindness must be
practiced free from fear of that; for it is not possible to practice loving-kindness
and feel anger simultaneously (see D III 247–48).


99. Compassion has grief based on the home life as its near enemy, since both
share in seeing failure. Such grief has been described in the way beginning,
“When a man either regards as a privation failure to obtain visible objects
cognizable by the eye that are sought after, desired, agreeable, gratifying and
associated with worldliness, or when he recalls those formerly obtained that are
past, ceased and changed, then grief arises in him. Such grief as this is called
grief based on the home life” (M III 218). And cruelty, which is dissimilar to the
similar grief, is its far enemy. So compassion must be practiced free from fear of
that; for it is not possible to practice compassion and be cruel to breathing things
simultaneously.

100. Gladness has joy based on the home life as its near enemy, since both share
in seeing success. Such joy has been described in the way beginning, “When a
man either regards as gain the obtaining of visible objects cognizable by the eye
that are sought ... and associated with worldliness, or recalls those formerly
obtained that are past, ceased, and changed, then joy arises in him. Such joy as
this is called joy based on the home life” (M III 217). And aversion (boredom),
which is dissimilar to the similar joy, is its far enemy. So gladness should be
practiced free from fear of that; for it is not possible to practice gladness and be
discontented with remote abodes and things connected with the higher
profitableness simultaneously.

101. Equanimity has the equanimity of unknowing based on the home life as
its near enemy, since both share in ignoring faults and virtues. Such unknowing
has been described in the way beginning, “On seeing a visible object with the
eye equanimity arises in the foolish infatuated ordinary man, in the untaught
ordinary man who has not conquered his limitations, who has not conquered
future [kamma] result, who is unperceiving of danger. Such equanimity as this
does not surmount the visible object. Such equanimity as this is called equanimity
based on the home life” (M III 219). And greed and resentment, which are
dissimilar to the similar unknowing, are its far enemies. Therefore equanimity
must be practiced free from fear of that; [320] for it is not possible to look on with
equanimity and be inflamed with greed or be resentful15 simultaneously.

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Dan74
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Re: is love of life metta?

Post by Dan74 »

befriend wrote:
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

I would take the joyful dance of life over the dour-faced and wary Buddhist puritanism any day.

But perhaps the Middle Way is neither one of the two. Trungpa wrote some interesting things about being intoxicated with the sense-bases, being intoxicated with existence, etc and that guy knew a thing or two about intoxication.

So I would second Ben's advice to attend carefully. But then again this applies just as well to whatever attitude to life we have and hold on to.

PS I guess when we shift to a lighter and more joyful way of being, or when we let go of some hindrance, have an important insight, etc, it is all too easy to pitch the tent and on some level at least feel that we've arrived, that this is the final position. And when one is surrounded by attitudes that are less skillful and more coarse, this position is all too easy to slip into.
_/|\_
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