Work a Miracle with Metta
By a miracle,
I mean a beautiful thing or happening which occurs out of or beyond
our expectations. In this sense we can work miracles with metta. There
will be greater miracles if we have stronger metta.
at Home and in Society
a friend said she had disagreements with a member of the family who
shared the same house with her. I told her to do metta regularly to
that person. Strangely enough the situation changed and they became
close. She was surprised because she admitted that her concentration
was really not too deep. Life would be much happier if all of us are
very good friends. This is especially relevant to those we are living
or frequently associating with together. Whether it is a family house,
office, temple, or any social organisation, why not regularly hold
metta sessions together? Call all the family members every morning
and radiate metta to each other. After that we can have a good heart-to-heart
talk. A lot of quarrels and misunderstanding can be ironed out. Then
the home is a real home, a place where there are people you'd like
to be with. The same also applies to the temple, office or any social
we meet with sick people we can radiate compassion to them. The mind
we believe is a powerful force. Where the divine abidings are concerned,
they can bring about healing. For
a start it will definitely help to boost the sick person's morale.
A happier mind suffers less and also helps the body to recover faster.
Once I had a friend suffering from cancer. The pain as one can expect
was terrible. I tried to use my mind to relieve his pain. What I noticed
in my effort is that it first came with setting his mind at peace,
for mind does influence mind. Following that, I noticed that there
are physical forces that arise with that peaceful mind. These are
restorative and helpful. In the end it does help to overcome if not
a lot, then some pain. Why
not try out with regular visits to the sick, the old and suffering.
One can do it by oneself, better still in a group. Radiate compassion
to the suffering. Feel the peaceful compassion from your mind envelop
and penetrate his. Feel the vibrations that come with the compassion
likewise envelop and penetrate his body. Do so with deep concentration.
Do so for long periods. Relieve the suffering of others.
in the Forest
The forest represents a place where danger lurks at every corner.
Wild animals such as tigers and snakes move around freely. Unseen
spirits or even demons may abound. When we are in such a situation
it is very important that we have enough metta to overcome our fears
and dangers. A
favourable citation of the power of metta is the incident when the
Buddha himself was faced by a ferocious drunken elephant charging
at him. The Buddha showered metta onto the animal and brought it to
its senses. It sat down at the feet of the Buddha. I have also heard
of a forest monk whose metta was so strong that even a tigress chose
to bear and wean her cubs under his hut. Animals
are normally very sensitive to metta and may sometimes respond better
than humans! In another incident I walked casually into the forest
and found myself lost and the night was setting in. Then I remembered
someone told me that a way to get out of such a situation was to radiate
metta to the tree spirits. I did so and found myself out in another
direction very soon. Coincidence? Well it helped firstly to stop any
panic. It preserved the mindfulness to get my bearings right. I do
not know if the tree spirits helped me, but the way out seemed to
be exceedingly smooth. In other stories the deities do lend a helping
hand to people with metta in times of danger or trouble. The
arahant Subhuti, foremost in metta, once meditated in a field. The
deity refused the rain to fall! This caused worry among the farmers.
But when a hut was erected for him, the rain poured. It
is usual for Buddhists to gather together in times of danger or trouble
to do recitations and metta to the world, to the deities and all beings
to summon up the blessings of the Triple Gem, and so on. It is believed
to be effective in preventing and averting dangers.
The Great Miracle
There may be many other instances that the power is made to work wonderfully
to relieve the sufferings of beings. But in working these we must
remember not to have selfish motives to feel proud or attached
to these things. Of
all these miracles, the greatest miracle metta gives is the miracle
of purification. When we have metta, our defilements are overcome.
Special reference can be made of ill-will or anger. It soothes us
as much as an antidote that removes the snake's poison that burns
in the body.
Ways of Working out Metta
The cultivations of metta in an intensive manner for absorptions/deep
concentration can be done on a solitary basis or in groups. Solitary
meditation is conducive to tranquillity meditations as it is usually
more quiet and less likely to run into misunderstandings with others.
Alternatively, group meditation involves more people and although
some may pose as distractions, the group effect and effort can be
of mutual help and support. If we can be a little selective as to
who comprises the group it can smooth out things. The joint group
effort can arouse and combine potent mental forces into a more powerful
force. It should first reinforce each of us by our radiating of metta
to each other in the group. Then we can radiate outwards.