Learning and Practice Suggestions:
The first verse of the Metta Sutta articulates the qualities and conditions that help us realize true Metta within our hearts and minds.
Contemplate and discern whether or not these qualities (or their opposites) are active in your heart-mind during formal meditation practice and daily life.
- First, notice when the positive attributes are present or not present. Try not to judge yourself if you notice that they are not present. And, see if you can appreciate the positive qualities when they are present.
- Second, contemplate the value of these qualities. Consider the harm that may arise when they are not present or when the opposite of these qualities are present.
- Third, try to bring these qualities to life - within your mind, heart, words, and actions. Intentionally call them to the front of your heart and mind. See if you can imbue your words and actions with them. Investigate how they impact your lived experience.
- Lastly, when these states are not present in your heart and mind, or their opposites are present within your words or actions, see if you can let go of them. See if you can apply effort to transform the unwholesome qualities with wholesome ones.
Please give yourself and others grace, understanding, and compassion. This is a humbling practice. It is also a noble one. It takes repeated effort and patience. It's infinitely beneficial for yourself and others when you sincerely try to begin this practice. Don't look for perfection. But do try to apply a caring effort. The fruit of this effort will come sooner than later. :)
Wholesome, Integrity, Harmony, Understanding, Compassion
Equanimity; Not restless or agitated, calm heart and mind, free from clinging/desire, aversion/hate, ignorance (wrong view), etc.
Able, understanding, and able to apply one's effort.
Integrity, dependability, reliable in one's wholesome intentions.
Willing and able to be honest about one's inner and outer world. To cherish truthfulness as indispensable for gaining true wisdom.
Not clinging to views, feelings, mind-states, or judgments. Open to learning, transformation, growth, healing, and liberation.
Mild, non-aggressive in thought, speech, and action, good-will, safe, warm, friendly, loving, caring, etc.
Not conceited, prideful, self-cherishing, self-judging, not comparing, selfish, etc.