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Introducing Buddhist Abhidhamma

Meditation and Concentration

Chapter 16 - Concentration on Loving-kindness

There is enough hatred and prejudice and misunderstanding all over the world for us to want to surmount them.

We want good-will and friendship, free from malice and anger, in thought and deed and word, to guide our life with our relatives and friends and our neighbours and the rest of the whole wide world.

This Chapter deals with Concentration on Loving-kindness. Loving-kindness means "love without lust" or friendliness or spiritual love. It is the opposite of hatred or ill-will or anger, and this Concentration Exercise gets rid of anger and malice.

There are two ideas behind this Concentration Exercise. One is to suffuse the whole world with loving-kindness, and the other is to extend loving-kindness to particular human beings.

But in order to suffuse the whole world with loving-kindness, or to extend loving-kindness to particular human beings, it is necessary in the first instance to suffuse oneself with loving-kindness. Only then will you be able practically to extend loving-kindness to the whole world and to particular human beings.

So let us begin with that. One-self is the easiest person to suffuse with loving-kindness, for one-self is the dearest person to one-self.

Yet this part is a means to an end, as the end is to suffuse the whole world, and also particular beings, with loving-kindness.

Say to yourself: "I wish to be happy and free from misery, and so do all other persons. May I be free from ill-will and anxiety".

Then radiate loving-kindness on one-self. Then extend the loving-kindness to your Parents and to your Teachers.

Then extend loving-kindness to your dearest friend. You should avoid extending loving-kindness to your sweetheart for it may turn to lust and not loving-kindness.

Then later to your enemy; this may be difficult at first, but you should persist in your attempt.

Then comes the second part. Say to yourself many times: "May all beings be happy and free from ill-will and anxiety and enmity".

Turn your loving-kindness on to the Northern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion of the world with loving-kindness.

Then turn your loving-kindness to the Eastern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.

Then turn your loving-kindness to the Southern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.

Then turn your loving-kindness to the Western portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.

Then turn to the regions above, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.

Then turn to the regions below, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness

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