Monday, November 09, 2015

The Four Sublime States - Loving Kindness.

Loving Kindness is in this day and age is a very rare commodity that is if one is fortunate enough to even come by, it is like seeking for a very valuable antique or digging for the greatest find in history. Loving Kindness is something not many care to even understand the significance of its meaning much less put it to practice. In my observation of the day to day activities of those around me i come to realize how far we have become such a self serving self aggrandizing and selfish individuals without even knowing it.
What is Loving Kindness?
The word chosen by the Buddha for this teaching is metta from mitta, a friend (or better "the true friend in need").Metta in the Buddha's teaching finds its place as the first of four kinds of contemplation designed to develop a sound pacific relationship to other living beings. The four are:metta, which will be rendered henceforward by "loving-kindness," karuna, which is "compassion" or "pity," mudita which is "gladness at others' success," and upekkha,which is "onlooking equanimity.
Metta (loving-kindness) is defined as follows: "Loving-kindness has the mode of friendliness for its characteristic. Its natural function is to promote friendliness. It is manifested as the disappearance of ill-will. Its footing is seeing with kindness. When it succeeds it eliminates ill-will. When it fails it degenerates into selfish affectionate desire."
Nanamoli Thera - 1994

It is commonly accepted in the West the fact that 'Money talks and bullshit walks.'One can elucidate all the higher principles of life, quote the ancients and reflect upon the masters teachings but if one is not of financial or fame standing in the community, nothing one share is acknowledge or even recognized and the as such the ancients' teaching is today falling on deaf ears like raindrops upon the lily pads. For that matter, how many people do really read anymore and especially reading such boring dry subjects like Loving Kindness or the Four Noble Truth. Even those who have been over the years striving for an understanding of these ancient teachings are beginning to waver and give up in their pursuit often discouraged and disillusioned. I have been a perhaps is still guilty of this often full of doubts and not having the will to forge forward my intended journey every time i am faced with a trial or tribulation. Perhaps age and my failing health has something to do with it but of late i feel like i am loosing ground in my progress towards better grasp of what the teachings are calling for.
What is it that I am expecting to find beyond what i already have? I am flip flopping from my practice letting my attention and awareness be taken over by external events and those i do really care about like my two children. I even tried to break from my promises to do nothing and accomplish nothing and decided to have a solo exhibition next month and even sent some of my works to be framed but i doubt i can afford it anymore as even the framing is too costly. So i am trapped again into making choices of doing something and accomplishing something with the hope that it will help me financially or help my children for that matter...I am getting myself sucked into the whirlwind of being busy again. I guess that is why they call it being in 'business'.  
What has all these got to do with Loving Kindness? Nothing really. I am just letting out my steam and no one has to read this boring personal crap but such is...even keeping my on going blog alive has become tedious as it is. However such is Loving kindness, to be doing something for the benefit of others even if it touches one heart or reader. Loving kindness is to give despite the fact that there is nothing more to give and giving has become a cliche. Loving kindness is overlooking the despair around you and striving to overcome your dull witted mind from regression and rebound yourself to greater heights so that you will not succumb to defeatism. Yes i may be down, but i am far from out. I may moan and groan over silly nothings this life has to throw at me but it does not mean I have to eat crap  and die.
To be able to bring a smile to a solemn and depressed person is an act of loving kindness. To share one's joy and success with those who have been downtrodden and despaired and elevate their condition is an act of loving kindness. To give a little when it is most needed without any thought or attachment to the giving in other words to give selflessly is an act of loving kindness. To feel empathy towards the suffering of others is an act of loving kindness and just to simply be there for someone when they most need you to be is an act of loving kindness. Your heart contains the universe within and without and there is plenty of room for you to share it with those who need to find solace in. 

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