The Karaniya Metta Sutta and Healing Through Loving-kindness (with Music)

The Buddha Teaches DhammaOver the years, I have collected many wonderful translation of the Metta Sutta, the Buddha’s sutta (sutra) on loving-kindness. But of all of them, I believe this one, from the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, is my favorite. I have it printed out and taped to my wall, and I often turn to it for inspiration.  I also work with it in my “formal” sitting and walking metta meditation practice.

After the Metta Sutta, I am also sharing the beautiful music of Tibetan flute player and composer Nawang Khechog. This artist’s music conveys great depth and spirituality, and his piece “Healing through Kindness” seems especially appropriate here. I highly recommend his aptly named albumMusic As Medicine (With Special Guest Artist R. Carlos Nakai).

I share these dharma gifts here for your inspiration and support in your own path of loving-kindness!  May the hearts of all beings be filled with happiness and peace!  May all being be safe and secure!


The Karaniya 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 safety,
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 vews,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense-desires,
Is not born again into this world.

“Healing through Kindness” by Nawang Khechog from Music As Medicine (With Special Guest Artist R. Carlos Nakai)


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

14 Responses to “The Karaniya Metta Sutta and Healing Through Loving-kindness (with Music)”

  1. Patrick Sencenbaugh Reply 2010/12/12 at 10:51 AM

    Hello Steven:

    Could you please let know where I could purchase a small statue of your avatar “may all beings be happy”, on Metta refuge?
    Thank you; very much,

    • Hello Patricia. My apologies for my delay in getting back to you. You are not the first person to make this request, but alas that image is of a statue in Japan. I was drawn to it because of its beautiful, sweet face, which seems to me to catch the spirit of Jizo.

      I found this image of the Jizo bodhhisattva on the internet years ago, and have been looking for the something like it, a real statue, ever since.

      You can find some nice ones for sale on the internet, but I’ve yet to find one with quite the sweet expression of this particular Jizo, though I have couple of small statues which are very nice.

      This site has the image I used, though I don’t think it’s the original source:

      You can find some very nice Jizos for sale on the Internet. Here’s a start:

      Thanks for stopping by the blog!


  2. You are welcome Steve. I don’t give compliments. I just tell the objective truth =) I thank my enemies, probably more than my friends. Without their aggression I couldn’t have become soft. Their ambition made me small. Their lies brought me to honesty. And their greed, lessons in giving. What do you do when someone gives you a good game of pool / poker / chess / whatever? You thank them for the lesson, because they just made you a better player.

    But on another level, we are compelled to face our nemesis because if we don’t at least try to embrace them with metta, then they will continue to harm others not just ourselves. If we let the opportunity pass us by they are certain to harm others when aren’t there. It’s a now or never kind of thing, to respond to injustice with compassion. This is one little slice of the motivation to benefit all other sentient beings, not just ourselves. Everyone in this world is connected, including villains and patron saints.

    Glad to see you back on /r/buddhism. We gotta do our part to keep it cool on reddit, given how much angst is floating about the community at large.

    • Thanks, my friend, and more great insights from you. I can feel the “glow” from your retreat. It feels like home!

      Yep, I got a few thinks out this weekend, and really like how my “pain” article worked out. It’s just loaded with good stuff, and multiple links to other articles, and I love being able to give folks something they can read and something they can listen to.

      Yes, I’m posting at Redit; I honestly haven’t had time to even look if there are comments, been so busy. And alas, and yet happily, I just got further freelance work to do (much needed income) so I may again have a few weeks where I”ll have less time for my dharma writing. This part of the project looks less labor intensive, so maybe I’ll be able to maintain better continuity. That’s my aspiration, but I’ll know better after I did in to my first assignment tomorrow.

      All the best, and warm metta,


  3. Right on time, Steve. For a world out of their minds. Copied this one down into my little journal of “beauties.” Intuitively my head tells me that developing metta, along with the three other Immeasurables (compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity), is the only way to approach solving difficult situations, life’s troublemakers, and outright enemies. There is no arguing with them. There is no teaching them. One cannot force the fruit to ripen. It’s said that we are to hold our enemies dear in our heart as our supreme gurus. Maybe that’s because through them we can practice metta and the Four Immeasurables.

    • Hey my friend! What a great comment; what you say is so true and wise, and speaks to your practice. I’ve had many “supreme gurus” in my life, 🙂 🙂 and while they have been some of the most difficult people I’ve ever had to deal with, there’s no doubt that I’ve learned much from trying to bring light to my painful encounters. Sometimes, I’m transformed, sometime the other changes, sometimes we both change, sometimes I’m removed from something abusive, sometimes the abuser is removed from my experience, but whatever the case may be, it is all dhamma, all my stuff to deal with (as you noted in our other great comment) and if I can look into it with some skill, I’m always blessed by it.

      Thanks for your great comments and for stopping by,



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