Metta meditation is an enriched and exalted form of Loving Kindness meditation. It was taught by Gowthama Buddha, many years ago and is still practiced in many traditional Buddhist communities to this day in many forms.
All through history, you will find Great Teachers reviving the teachings to suit the mankind, the requirement of the era, the traditions of the time, general ability to reason and emotional advancement of the people in that period. So, the teachings are given based on the ability of the students to grasp. As their mental development enhances, their urge to know increases. The yearning shifts to knowing what is more lasting!
We acquire material things to accomplish karmic and family obligations. That's only a small part in the great work for which we have come into this existence. We must understand this purpose! Let us first have a look at the making of this World and the target.
The Manifested World and the Divine Target
There are 3 main aspects of the manifested World. Tripureshwari or Bhubaneshwari is the Mother of manifestation in the three lower worlds (and similarly in the higher worlds), building the Physical, Emotional and Mental bodies for humanity and other kingdoms of nature. There are totally 7 lokas or planes and manifestation occurs on all these planes. The higher planes are Adi, Anupada, Atmic and Intuitional, whereas the lower are Mental, Emotional and Physical.
You are the Soul with Physical, Emotional and Mental bodies, manifesting on the Earth for a purpose. You are given the opportunity to upgrade so that you can contribute for the purpose. And as you contribute better, you further improve and progress.
The Earth Scheme of Evolution:
· There are 10 to 12 schemes of evolution in our Solar System. Imagine a flower with 10 to 12 petals. Earth scheme is like one petal. Ours is one among them, known as the Earth Scheme.
· There are 7 Chains in this Earth Scheme.
· We are presently in the 4th Chain, which is termed as the Earth Chain.
· Each chain has 7 Globes. We are on the 4th Globe of the Earth Chain, in the 4th Round out of the 7 Rounds. This 4th Globe is our planet Earth.
· So, there is Earth Scheme of Evolution. In the Earth Scheme, we are part of the Earth Chain. In the Earth Chain we are on the Earth Globe presently.
· We have just crossed the halfway point in this Earth Chain and also Earth Scheme. That is, we are in the bottom most part of the manifestation of the Earth Chain as well as the Earth Scheme of Evolution. Now, the ascending swing has started for our Earth Globe.
· Therefore, now we have the rare opportunity to progress faster. Optimum amount of the Divine energy is flowing to uplift humanity at this turning point for the Manifestation of the Divine plan on Earth. We must bring down this Divine energy in the form of Divine Light, Divine Love and Divine Power towards this end.
· Such Great opportunity has come after many thousands of maha-yugas. Utilise this opportunity to help others and upheave! The capabilities of our Physical, Emotional and Mental bodies must be enhanced. Without facing struggles, we cannot develop our inner muscles of Emotional and Mental bodies.
The Divine Target:
The motive behind all this evolution and improvement is to carry out the Divine Target. The present Divine Target, which is a part of the Grander Divine Plan, is to uplift humanity to a Higher Emotional state. To come to a state of Peace, Love and Forgiveness; to empathise and attend to the needs of others and ourselves with choice and compassion.
The Four Key Requirements for Spiritual Advancement
For definite Spiritual progress, the following must be borne in mind and practiced sincerely:
1. Regular Purification – which can be achieved by physical exercises; right diet; breathing exercises; inner purification by practice of forgiveness and also by reflecting within; Divine healing; being a Divine channel by blessing the Earth or by carrying out healings, etc.
2. Doing Service regularly – Again, this can be accomplished by being a marvellous medium of blessings for the entire humanity and all kingdoms of nature while doing Planetary Peace Meditation, Metta Meditation, Great Invocation, healings, etc.; showing benevolence by numerous means of giving, encouraging, guiding and extending help to those in need.
3. Regular practice of Meditations to transcend the mind.
4. Improving and sustaining inter-personal relationships – Understanding, respecting and addressing the needs of others and yourself to the best of your ability; practicing forgiveness sadhana regularly and whenever disturbed; showing tolerance by accepting people as they are.
You may align with a right Group for practicing these techniques regularly. This accelerates the progress! The Group provides support and makes it easier in achieving each of the above four aspects. Remember, “Sangham Sharanam Gachami”, one of the Triple Gems propagated by Gowthama Buddha.
Understanding the Steps in the Metta Meditation
Buddha had wished for all the beings to be at ease. Hence, we use the Prayer of Metta in this meditation, which wishes all the beings, seen or unseen in all kingdoms, present in any and all planes of manifestation, including all those going to be born into the physical world and those who transited from the physical world, to be at peace and comfort.
We also chant the mantra of compassion, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, which calls upon the grace of Buddha Avalokiteshvara, who is the Buddha of compassion, to soothe the pain and anguish of all. These practices make this meditation extraordinarily potent and intense.
The Steps in Meditation:
1. Opening the Heart Centre:
Chant the mantra of mercy, “OM MANI PADME HUM” a few times by being aware of the Heart Centre. Om is the Divine sound which purifies, MANI is the jewel and PADME is an activated chakra. Chakra is like an energy flower. This mantra stimulates the flower to open up and bloom. Thus, this chanting activates the Heart energy centre, the centre for human love.
With an activated Heart centre, it becomes very easy to bestow forgiveness, which can be practiced at this point. This further kindles and swells the Heart chakra! For accelerated and sustained Spiritual Progress, the Heart chakra must be maintained big most of the time.
2. Opening the Crown Centre:
The Crown centre is the centre for Divine Love. Now, activate this centre by using the mantra of compassion.
When it gets stimulated, you may seek help from the Divine to purify you of all your failings; heal you of all the ailments; strengthen and empower you; guide and protect you at Spiritual, Intuitional, Mental, Etheric including Physical levels!
3. Aligning the Crown and the Heart Centres:
Next, by aligning the Crown and the Heart energy centres, you can come in union with your Higher Soul and experience Divine peace, bliss and oneness. Your consciousness is elevated into the Intuitional plane or higher!
In this expanded state of consciousness and oneness, the individual or group is prepared to route abundant and intense Divine energies into Mother Earth by using the Prayer of Metta and then chanting the Mantra of Compassion again.
Since the intention is to direct the energy to the entire Earth and for the benefit of all, you are flooded with very potent Divine energies which can be visualized as brilliant liquid golden energies. This energy has regenerating effect on your bodies. These energies not only anchor the Divine forces on Earth, but also transform all that is grosser and unpleasant.
4. Let Go in Meditation:
At the end, chant the mantra OM a few times to let the consciousness go higher and extend further! All this prepares you to tune up. How far you can take off in let go depends on your purification, development, capability and your energy!
Elucidating the Prayer of Metta
I. May all Sentient Beings in the Mental World, Emotional World, Etheric World including Physical World;
In all Ten Directions (Eight Directions, Above and Below), be Blessed,
By the Universal Supreme God, All the Great Great Ones! (All the Great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas).
Metta means compassion or karuna, in thinking, feeling, speech and deeds. This prayer is intended for all the sentient beings, i.e., beings from the mineral kingdom, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, human kingdom, angelic (or deva) kingdom and also includes all those who are no longer in the physical body or yet to come into physical existence, but are present in the Etheric, Emotional or Mental planes.
In order to be directing the benevolent thoughts and wishes to all these planes, to elevate and hearten all these beings, we need to raise ourselves up to the Intuitional, also known as the Buddhic plane.
Out of the 7 planes of manifestation, in the top two, Adi and Anupada planes are the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Their consciousness descends down up to the Intuitional plane. Only when you come in touch with this plane, can you disperse these greater Divine energies to others. And so, you are a medium between the Divine and the Mother Earth to support with compassionate, soothing, restorative energies to all.
The prayer requests energies from the Supreme Being, Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Avalokiteshvara, Buddha Padmasambhava along with all the Great Great Ones known as Avatars, Tirthankaras, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Spiritual Elders in different traditions. Divine energies are at a higher frequency, which are difficult to handle. They must be stepped down with the help of a Guru. Gurus and Higher beings are there to dispense the energy through you.
When you become a channel for these energies, you are Divinely guided. You also realise that the soul nature is deeper inner peace, Divine bliss and Divine oneness! However, to just be in bliss is not sufficient; being an instrument and working for the Divine is indispensable. You are purified and healed in this process. Like, constant flow of water purifies the pipeline, in the same manner your energy centres get purified and also develop in this course of action. Hence, more and more energy can be guided to all the sentient beings through you.
II. May the Mind of all the sentient beings be filled with Divine light!
First step of the metta prayer is to request for deeper insight and awareness for all the sentient beings.
You seek to disseminate knowledge, understanding, wisdom, gratitude and discernment to all the beings. Discernment is to know deeply who you are; your targets for this incarnation; to distinguish what is important; understand the golden rule; appreciate that every soul is pure and there is nobody to be blamed for your conditions; realise that there is no separateness, all are one; purify the lower mind; and to align with a right group.
III. May the Heart of all sentient beings be blessed with Divine love!
Next is the appeal for being a soothing medium of Divine love, to pacify and alleviate any pain; immerse others with peace, spirit of forgiveness; refine and transform all the emotions; fill with hope, faith, joyfulness; infuse sweetness, warmness, tenderness; exhibit compassion; ensure politeness, courteousness; have receptivity, sensitivity and empathy for all kingdoms!
IV. May the Will of all sentient beings be blessed with Divine power!
Will includes purpose and power. We ask for the inner strength to do what is appropriate and to abstain from all unwholesome thoughts, unpleasant feelings, injurious words and harmful actions. Utilise the Golden rule, “Do to others, what you want others to do to you! Do not do to others, what you do not want others to do to you.”
As the Divine energy steps down, it converts into Golden energy and further at etheric level modifies to Brilliant Liquid Golden energy. This energy has the ability to dissolve all the objectionable and unpleasant vibrations of hatred, fears, insecurities, doubt, anger, frustration, domination, terror, revenge, violence, hostility, brutality, stress and lack of forgiveness created by our humanity over a long period of time and still being created. These distasteful vibrations together are known as dweller on the threshold which is like a dark cloud around Mother Earth at Lower Mental and Lower Emotional levels. When these energies descend to Etheric and Physical levels, they can cause havoc on Earth, in terms of natural and man-made calamities. We have witnessed these many times.
When your Crown centre is open and the will aspect, the Ajna centre, is also incited, you can penetrate through the dweller on the threshold and create an opening to the Divine. When you are connected through the Crown, your consciousness is above the dweller on the threshold. The Buddhas and Avatars are above this threshold (in the higher planes) and they wait for us to connect-up in order to flood the Divine energies down to neutralise the threshold energies to some extent. Therefore, this prayer makes this meditation a very powerful technique to serve as an instrument for the betterment of all!
You may take this opportunity of practicing with a big group, in our daily live sessions on Facebook. The Metta meditation is being practiced in our evening live session every day. Another form of Loving Kindness meditation, known as the Planetary Peace Meditation, is being carried out in the morning live session regularly. The afternoon session is a service session, which utilises the prayer of Great Invocation, for channelizing the Divine Energies to the entire Earth in this pandemic situation and specifically to the more affected countries, your own city and area.
These live sessions are now extended up to 31st August 2020 @ www.facebook.com/ShriNJReddy. Timings: Morning 7.15 AM, Afternoon 1.00 PM, Evening 6.30 PM.
You can also try our free app, YPV Sadhana, for guided Planetary Peace Meditation and other techniques to strengthen and upgrade your immune system.