Boundless Love

There is no part of the Buddhist path more beautiful, relevant, and underappreciated than loving-kindness. It is not a sidelight but is instead right at the heart of practice.

Of all the things that one can do to benefit themselves in the future, nothing is more helpful than the practice of loving kindness. It is the most profound, the most brilliant.

All the stars in the sky are only a fraction as bright as the moon. The moon outshines them all. In just this way, the practice of loving kindness outshines all other practices.

The sky is brighter, clearer, and sunnier in the time just after the monsoons than at any other time of the year. This time outshines them all. In just this way, the practice of loving kindness outshines all other practices.

The break of dawn is brighter and clearer than all the hours that have gone before. This time outshines them all. In just this way, the practice of loving kindness outshines all other practices.

When mindfully practice loving kindness, you will learn to let go. Your flaws will be worn away. If, with a pure heart, you fill your being with loving kindness for even just one living thing, you will find it very beneficial. But a wise person generates tremendous benefit by having love for all living things.

The royal priests who have conquered the world do rituals: horse sacrifice, human sacrifice, water rituals, soma sacrifice, and others. But they do not produce even a fraction of the benefit of a mind filled with love. The power of love is like the moon that is brighter than all the stars in the night sky.

A person who does not kill or incite others to kill, who does not control or cause others to control, who is kind to all, they have no hatred in their heart.

(Itivuttaka, Mettabhavana)

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6 thoughts on “Boundless Love

  1. love and kindness in essence is neutral we should never be an extremist or be romantic about things because we add colour to the emotion and there exists distortions which leads to pain and suffering. A better understanding of our emotions is a good thing as it leads to a reorientation and a reintergration of love and kindness back into its proper place in our consciousness sans attachment and longing

  2. I don’t think love is “neither good nor bad”. I think it’s really really good! It is good by necessity; its very nature is good. (To use an Abhidhammic concept, adosa, i.e. metta (loving kindness), is necessarily a wholesome/beautiful dhamma. Beauty is its sabhava, its essential nature.)

    As for essential/unessential, well, I’d say it’s necessary and essential for nibbana (enlightenment).

    And yes, you’re right, Szee, that truly loving oneself is very important as well. I think that if people just learn to truly love themselves, that love will flow out naturally to encompass others as well.

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