Buddha's Antidote to Fear | 3 . 24 . 20


The Heart Awakened (excerpt)

-Eileen Siriwardhana

Now is the hour to muster compassionate forces within the human heart on a global scale. The virtues of Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy and Equanimity must be practiced to neutralize the degrading forces of fear, greed, aversion, and hatred which cause panic and dangerous divisions. Once the sparks of divinity in human hearts are released, fears and divisions will recede into insignificance. Then only one creed will be in evidence: the creed of humanity. So let us activate, cultivate, and develop the sublime qualities, Metta — The Brahma Viharas. These powers hidden within the human heart are always available, and it is through these powers that humanity can be protected. This seems to be the way — the only way out of the present entanglement.

The inner tangle and the outer tangle —
This generation is entangled in a tangle.
And so I ask Buddha this question:
Who succeeds in disentangling this tangle?

The answer of the enlightened One given centuries ago embodies the solution to the present tangle. It is, in fact, the answer to every generation — past, present, future.

“One who succeeds in disentangling this tangle, is one who is well established and steadfast in virtue and discernment—and one who’s greed, aversion and ignorance have faded away.”

-Buddha

Origins of the Loving-Kindness Practice

-Piyadassi Thera (Thervada Monk)

While the Buddha was staying at Savatthi, a group of practitioners, having received subjects of meditation from the Buddha, proceeded to a forest to spend the rainy season (vassana). The tree deities inhabiting this forest were worried by the practitioners arrival, as the deities had to descend from tree abodes and dwell on the ground. The tree deities hoped, however, the practitioners would leave soon; but finding that the practitioners would stay the entire period of three months, the forest deities harassed the practitioners in diverse ways, during the night with the intention of scaring them away.

Living under such conditions being impossible, the practitioners went to the Buddha and informed him of their difficulties. Thereon the Buddha instructed them in the Metta sutta and advised that they return equipped with this sutta for their protection.

The monks went back to the forest, and practicing the instruction conveyed, permeated the whole atmosphere of the forest dwelling with their radiant thoughts of metta or loving-kindness. The forest deities so affected by this power of love, henceforth allowed the practitioners to meditate in without working to cause them fear.

The discourse Metta practice gets divided into two parts.

  1. The first detailing the standard of moral conduct required by one who wishes to attain Purity and Peace
  2. and the second the method is meditation practice of metta.

Metta Sutta ( Virtue – Moral Conduct)

– Buddha

This is what should be accomplished by the one who is wise, who seeks the good and has obtained peace.

Let one be strenuous, upright and sincere, without pride, easily contented and joyous.

Let one not be submerged by the things of the world. Let one not take upon oneself the burden of riches.

Let one’s senses be controlled.

Let one be wise but not puffed up, and let one not desire great possessions, even for one’s family.

Let one do nothing that is mean or that the wise would reprove. May all beings be happy. May they be joyous and live in safety. All living beings, whether weak or strong, in high or middle or low realms of existence, small or great, visible or invisible, near or far, born or to be born, may all beings be happy.

Let no one deceive another, nor despise any being in any state; let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another. Even as a mother, at the risk of her own life, watches over and protects her only child, so with a boundless mind should one cherish all living things, suffusing love over the entire world — above, below, and all around without limit.

So let one cultivate an infinite good will toward the whole world. Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, during all one’s waking hours, let one practice the way with gratitude. Not holding to fixed views, abandoning vague discussions, endowed with insight, freed from sense appetites, one who achieves the way will be freed from the duality of birth and death, and no longer create suffering for oneself or others.


Metta Meditation Practice

Beginning with yourself.
Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for your own well being. Enjoy this wish of well being. Feel it.
May I be healthy. May I be Safe. May I be Happy. May I transform all suffering into awakening. May I live with the ease of a joyful heart
Bring to mind someone who has been kind to you.
Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for this one’s well being and radiate it outward. Feel yourself radiating it.
May you be healthy. May you be Safe. May you be Happy. May you transform all suffering into awakening. May you live with the ease of a joyful heart.
In you minds eye, see that one smiling back at you—receiving your wish of well being.

Bring to mind a loved one.
Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for this one’s well being and radiate it outward. Feel yourself radiating it.
May you be healthy. May you be Safe. May you be Happy. May you transform all suffering into awakening. May you live with the ease of a joyful heart.
In you minds eye, see that one smiling back at you—receiving your wish of well being.

Bring to mind someone you don’t really know well.
Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for this one’s well being and radiate it outward. Feel yourself radiating it.
May you be healthy. May you be Safe. May you be Happy. May you transform all suffering into awakening. May you live with the ease of a joyful heart.
In you minds eye, see that one smiling back at you—receiving your wish of well being.

Bring to mind a challenging person.
Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for this one’s well being and radiate it outward. Feel yourself radiating it.
May you be healthy. May you be Safe. May you be Happy. May you transform all suffering into awakening. May you live with the ease of a joyful heart.
In you minds eye, see that one smiling back at you—receiving your wish of well being.

Bring to mind all being, all creatures. Excluding none.
Including mother Earth.

Fill your entire body with a sincere wish for the well being of all and radiate it outward. Feel yourself radiating it.
May all be Healthy. May all be Safe. May all be Happy. May all transform all suffering into awakening. May all live with the ease of a joyful heart.

Feel yourself radiating this wish of well being for ALL

  • out in front of you
  • behind you
  • to the right of you
  • to the left of you
  • above you
  • and below you
  • and all around, with limit, without bounds

Continue to radiate this wish of well being for ALL outward

  • into the room
  • beyond the room into building
  • beyond the building into the surrounding buildings
  • beyond building to the city
  • beyond the city to the counties
  • beyond the counties to the state
  • expanding ever outward effortlessly over the all geography of hills, valley, lakes and mountains, cities, plains and rivers
  • covering the entire continent
  • expanding over oceans and over all continents
  • covering the entire earth in this wish of well being.
  • Suffusing the entire world.

May all be healthy. May all be Safe. May all be Happy. May all transform all suffering into awakening. May all live with the ease of a joyful heart.


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