What did the Buddha think of loving-kindness?

What did the Buddha think of loving-kindness?

When most people think of Buddhist practice, they think of meditation.  But the Buddha himself taught that metta, loving-kindness practice, was an essential aspect of the path to lasting happiness.

I like to think of meditation and loving-kindness as two wings of one bird.  For strong flight, a bird needs both wings.  For us to soar in our practice, we need both meditation and metta. In fact, the deepest meditation and metta are indistinguishable; they are really one.

Here is what the Buddha said:

“Bhikkhus [students], whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness far excels them.

Just as whatever light there is of stars, all is not worth one sixteenth part of the moon’s; in shining and beaming and radiance the moon’s light far excels it; and just as in the last month of the Rains, in the Autumn when the heavens are clear, the sun as it climbs the heavens drives all darkness from the sky with its shining and beaming and radiance; and just as, when night is turning to dawn, the morning star is shining and beaming and radiating; so too, whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness far excels them.”

From the Anguttara Nikaya, 11:16 (spoken by the Buddha)

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About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

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