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One with a mind full of hatred lives in perpetual anger. Such a person  does not respect others. Even the wholesome activities of the others are viewed as incorrect and thinks only oneself is correct. A person with a lot of hatred sleeps often in a crouched position.

The four methods of bhaavanaa explained in the Teachings for individuals with hatred are bhaavanaa of mettha (amity), karuna (loving kindness), muditha (appreciative joy) and upekkha (equanimity).

  1. When one is kind to oneself, one does not like oneself to be subjected to painful suffering. It is known as mettha. Then one wishes “may I be well”. The Mettha bhaavanaa is an extension of this thought to all beings without discrimination.
  2. When others are subject to suffering and pain, one’s mind becomes full of compassion and extends the wish “may they be well, happy and free from suffering”. This is the bhaavanaa of loving kindness or karuna.
  3. When others make progress, one feels happy without having any trace of jealousy. This is known as bhaavanaa of muditha or appreciative joy. Then one extends the wish “may they be successful, may no harm come to them, may no difficulties come to them, may they have courage, determination, understanding to overcome the problems”.
  4. Perception of things without any attachment is known as equanimity. When any one attempts mindfully to extend wholesome thoughts to other beings, it is known as bhaavanaa of Uppekkha or Equanimity. Then one extends the wish “may they be successful, may no harm come to them, may no difficulties come to them, may they have courage, determination, understanding to overcome the problems” to all beings without any limitation and discrimination.

Mettha bhaavanaacan be explained as follows.

First, one has to paint a mental picture of one’s happy state of mind and extend happy thoughts to oneself for some time. One may think “May I be well, happy, peaceful and prosperous. May no harm come to me. May no difficulties come to me. May I also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome the inevitable difficulties, problem and failures in life”.

When one has achieved both physical and mental Samadhi on this thought, it is gradually extended to parents, teachers, relatives, friends, non-friends, other people not known and finally to all beings. When focusing the mind for the extension of mettha, one may try to assume the picture of a happy state of the corresponding individual. While extending mettha to others, one may have to redirect one’s thoughts to remain on the right path. It is possible that unwholesome thoughts may surface. When extending mettha thoughts to those who are very dear and close to meditator, it is possible that lustful thoughts may appear. But one has to be aware of such instances and should be able to disregard it by recognizing that it is an inappropriate thought. When one attempts to extend wholesome thoughts to one’s non-friends, thoughts of anger and hatred may surface. Similar to lustful thoughts one has to recognize it as inappropriate and disregard them by focusing the mind on wholesome thoughts. It is a social habit to consider individuals who are intolerable and make trouble, as one’s enemies. However, one who meditates has to forgive anyone who is considered to be an enemy . The mental, physical and verbal forgiveness to those who are intolerable and make trouble leads to a humble and calm mind. Therefore, the meditator should not forget to train this quality from the inception of bhaavanaa. Those who fail to train this quality may not achieve success in reducing the hatred in there minds. Metthanisansa Sutra explains the following 10 benefits of mettha bhaavanaa.

  1. Comfortable sleep
  2. Comfortable wake-up
  3. Absence of nightmares
  4. Liked by others
  5. Liked by non-humans
  6. Blesses by deities
  7. No harm from fire, poison, or weapons
  8. Facial expression turns pleasant
  9. At the moment of death there will be no fear or unconsciousness
  10. If not enlightened, reborn in Brahma realm.


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