Contemplation on The Four Sublime States
1. Love (metta)
without desire to possess, knowing well that in the ultimate sense there is no
possession and no possessor: this is the highest love.
Love, without speaking
and thinking of "I", knowing well that this so-called "I"
is a mere delusion.
without selecting and excluding, knowing well that to do so means to create love's
own contrasts: dislike, aversion and hatred.
embracing all beings: small and great, far and near, be it on earth, in the water,
or in the air.
embracing impartially all sentient beings, and not only those who are useful,
pleasing or amusing to us.
embracing all beings, be they noble-minded or low-minded, good or evil. The noble
and the good are embraced because love is flowing to them spontaneously. The low-minded
and evil-minded are included because they are those who are most in need of love.
In many of them the seed of goodness may have died merely because warmth was lacking
for its growth, because it perished from cold in a loveless world.
embracing all beings, knowing well that we all are fellow way-farers through this
round of existence - that we all are overcome by the same law of suffering.
Love, but not
the sensuous fire that burns, scorches and tortures, that inflicts more wounds
than it cures - flaring up now, at the next moment being extinguished, leaving
behind more coldness and loneliness than was felt before.
Rather, love, that
lies like a soft but firm hand on the ailing beings, ever unchanged
in its sympathy, without wavering, unconcerned with any response it
meets. Love that is comforting coolness to those who burn with the fire
of suffering and passion; that is life-giving warmth to those abandoned
in the cold desert of loneliness, to those who are shivering in the
frost of a loveless world; to those whose hearts have become as if empty
and dry by the repeated calls for help, by deepest despair.
Love, that is
a sublime nobility of heart and intellect which knows, understands and is ready
that is strength and gives strength: this is the highest love.
which by the Enlightened One was named "the liberation of the heart",
"the most sublime beauty": this is the highest love.