Metta: The Heart’s Release
A reflection on practice by Marcia Rose
“It is in this way that we must train ourselves:
by liberation of the self through love.
We will develop love, we will practice it
we will make it both a way and a basis,
take our stand upon it, store it up,
and thoroughly set it going.”
— The Buddha – Samyutta Nikaya
The great strength of a heart/mind protected through the energy of metta, this quality-this capacity to stay present and connect with a heart that is fearless and free of ill will. Ghandi called this the most powerful and the most subtle force in the universe. It’s the energy that keeps it all together and is called for again and again throughout our practice, throughout our life. Metta is one of the best medicines…a very powerful medicine. The practice and the energetic experience of metta is offered and felt as a natural heartfelt wish that is directed towards oneself, another particular person or a group of beings …wishing oneself and others to be happy, to be safe, to live with a deep sense of ease, well being and peace.
With the opening and the transformation into the greatness of the heart of metta, there’s a great letting go, a release of much of what we’ve been holding onto and grasped so tightly. There’s a release of the contractions of the heart…the past pains, hurts, and anguish that we’ve taken in and taken on as ‘mine’, as ‘me’, as ‘I am’. It’s not so easy to relinquish these habituated pattern of our ‘self’, but this is what binds the heart/mind. Our commitment to our practice, our willingness to take the journey is what affords the transformation.
There’s a tremendous fullness of energy which is constituted by great confidence, strength, patience, and a very clear straightforwardness that come from the loving heart of metta. A heart/mind filled with metta has the capacity to impartially embrace all beings, not only those we’re close to in our lives, those it’s easy to care about or those who might be pleasing or useful or amusing to us. A heart/mind filled with metta holds the possibility of a capacity for what can be called ‘immeasurable impartiality’..the capacity for being able to connect to and care for any being…all beings.
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