Sunday, October 28, 2012

Loving Friendliness of Metta

Metta is a Pali word and when translated has the most beneficial meaning.  Metta is defined as friendly, happy, peaceful, well, calm, good willingness, benevolent, and other forms of compassionate states of mind. Pali was first written down in Sri Landka in the first century BC. It was the language of many of the earliest Buddhist scriptures (parahita-parasukha-kamana).
When I practice Metta I transform myself.  I unite my mind to become at peace when I deeply pay attention to my heart.  I spend countless hours practicing Metta.  In return I have enjoyed an immeasurable benefit that has transformed every facet of my life. Metta is gift that keeps on giving!

Metta is a mind-set of altruistic love and friendliness based on benefiting the greater good exceeding just being amiable. Metta is about selfless being one refusing to be angry, hating, jealous, bitter, and resentful.  I  lessen my suffering when I seek the well-being and happiness of others and all things. Metta is about the greater common interest with a warm-hearted feeling of fellowship, empathy and compassion.  When I overcome my many social, religious, racial, political and economic hindering attitudes of greed, hatred and delusion. Metta liberates me with a universal, selfishness and all-embracing friendliness of unconditional love for all things.

One symbol for Metta is the mother caring for her baby. Treating other beings with such sacred attention returns this act of virtuous reverence to my greater and highest self.  Bringing attention to this intention of Metta I find benefits all.  Such loving kindness enhances my greater welfare since we are all interconnected to all things bringing us abundant, deep and intense peace and happiness.

When I go beyond concepts or common conventional truths I find more profound truths beyond my material world perspective.  My shift in consciousness frees me from my perspectives, and ideas, with a brilliant insight. Meditation allows us to develop this new lens of seeing all facets of suffering. 

For example, Vipassana  (Insight) meditation is one avenues to help assist me to see how to lessen my samsara (cycle of birth and death).  2600 years ago the Buddha answered questions posed to him as to the reasons for long life and so forth (the discourse to Subha). From his answer, I find that I can  prosper with good health, and well being thanks to  loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

Metta acts to skillfully lessen destructive states such as anger and hatred.  As I increase my concentration I can benefit many situation since a greater loving wisdom emerges. Such wholesome exercise fosters more healthy relationships. Simply lessening my self-seeking, I  befriend greater well-being in the best possible manner.

Metta is a transforming attitude of greeting things as part of my greater self with universal love.  Cultivating this inner power stimulates, protects and heals both me and others. Today peace can overcome the constant challenges of anger and fear.  Metta is the tenor of the times.  Increasing destructive emotions necessitate such loving mutual understanding. Metta is an imperative skillful means to promote greater friendly, joyful well-being.

The Buddha's Words on Kindness (Metta Sutta)*

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Leading By Example – A Great Service

All my life I have been profoundly influence by those working to serve for the greater good. My father exemplified this tireless serving as a Congressional lawyer assisting the passage of Medicare and other laws benefiting others.  My father’s other great feat was helping start the Capital Hill Tennis Team.  Learning how to serve in the game of tennis is one the most important and difficult skills.  The act of “best serving” has a different meaning regarding how to best live.

How I best give to my world is how I perpetuate further happiness.  This is about me listening to my heart.  This humbling process is for me is about greater reverence and less righteousness.  Unfortunately key challenges and opportunities are not even being talked about.  For me my personal well-being is interconnected  how I can be a spark plug for future prosperity.  Taking care of myself also extends in how I can best care for all things on this Earth. I am interdependent compassionate human being. I have been a pioneer in resource conservation and I have enjoyed bountiful opportunities in profiting from numerous pollution prevention triumphs.  Showing by right example has been gift similar to appreciation that keeps on giving.  Such wisdom arrives when I alert my mind to exercise greater courage fully opening my heart.

Our greatest challenge is to prioritize what is fact and fiction about our prosperity. Addressing explosive national security issues not getting the national attention it deserves.  For example agricultural, water, and population are all rapidly depleting our natural resources.   Attracting people’s attention that our future depends on how we better care for our soil, food and water affects every living thing here.

I was just alerted to several amazing TED ( presentations regarding challenges and success stories. For example, Jonathan Foley presented,  The Other Inconvenient Truth.” Agriculture is the number one human contributor (30%)  to  greenhouse emissions. Besides emitting the largest amounts of CO2, methane and nitrogen, agriculture uses 40% of the earth’s land and 70% of our fresh water.  Every year there is born a new population the size of Germany on this planet or 75 million additional people. So how are we going to deal with 9 billion people by 2040?

There are amazing other TED video showing ingenious leaders engaging communities and  implementing ingenious community solutions to our emerging challenges.  These visionaries share one common theme- leading by example and kindly working together. The tenor of the times is for everyone to come to the table.  Let us show not through words but deeds how we can best give back to this wonderful world what treasures that we have blessed with in our lives. People of all walks will benefit greatly when we unite together.  America is the greatest nation only when we generously assist our neighbors and help those in need.  Our full potential will arise when we show ingeniously ability to address our common threats.  We can all lead by actively making a difference just by a simple act of positive example.

As a trail blazer in the recycling and other tipping points I know firsthand the importance of virtue of leading and giving my best by example. Teaching tennis for four decades also helped me learn how to inspire improved play. Also I have been generous helping others and volunteered thousands of hours to diverse community and public service activities. I have been elected official and testified at every level of government.  Yet still I feel called to give much more back since I have been given so much by so many selfless Americans.

Our freedom is entrusted since we are interdependent not independent.  Calm yet alert to potential future perils we are endowed to give a hand and  give our best. Our liberation is rooted in our relationship with all things and our ability to respond by doing what is off benefit to all. There is no higher good or greater gift in life then to be of service. For me, leading by example benefits all things in including our collective well-being and happiness.