Article: SAT AUG 24 at 4 PM “Metta” by Two Venerable Monks

In the next meeting SAT AUG 24 at 4 PM, our discussion on Metta will continue .

Last session, we read the article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and touched on Acharya Buddharakkhita’s article, “Metta.”

See just below (Discussion FRI 2013 AUG 9) for information on Thanissaro’s article.

Saturday the group will explore Bhante Buddharakhita’s article more deeply and compare/contrast it to Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s viewpoint.

Here’s the link again to Buddharakkhita’s thorough and superb article :http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/buddharakkhita/wheel365.html

The goal of the Washington, DC, Buddhist Studies Group is to support and enhance participants’ practice and knowledge of Buddhism.

Discussion Friday 2013 August 09, from 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM:

The discussion will be led by Tony. The topic will be the article

Metta Means Goodwill” by the Venerable Thanissaro Bhikkhu (PDF)
( the discussion will use the PDF version ).

Tony suggests reading the suttas referenced in the article if you have time before coming to the discussion.

To prepare for the discussion Tony recommends reading these questions before coming to the discussion:

True Happiness
• What is your understanding of true happiness?
• In general terms, what are some things you have found that make the pursuit of true
happiness difficult? Why do you think they hinder you?
• If true happiness is one of “independence & self-reliance,” does that mean we should be
independent & self-reliant beings or that our happiness should be independent & selfreliant?
Everyday Metta
• Quoting from page 4 of the PDF, “… the Buddha explicitly recommends developing
thoughts of metta in two situations where it’s especially important—and especially
difficult—to maintain skillful motivation: when others are hurting you, and when you
realize that you’ve hurt others.” What are some situations in which you have had
difficulty developing metta or when you were especially pleased that you were able to
establish goodwill in your heart? Do you recognize a theme or themes?
• Are you developing a goodwill for all beings that is honest, ie applying it to all your
interactions with others, day-in & day-out?
• Page 5 : “… living together is often difficult, […] and the happiest policy for all
concerned is often to live harmlessly apart.” It is easy to understand this when we are
angry or upset with someone or when we simply don’t care. How might this apply in
situations with those you want close to you? Those you love?
• What kind of connections might there be between your precepts & metta? And the other
brahmaviharas – ie, compassion, empathetic joy & equanimity?
Translation
• How important are the connotations of the words used to translate such important terms
as metta, karuna, mudita & upekkha?
• Do you feel this discussion is just scholarly minutia, or does it have a real effect on your
understanding & thinking?
• Do you agree with Thanissaro Bhikku that “Metta is better thought of as goodwill”?

Tony also recommends Thanissaro Bhikku’s nonviolence study guide and his study guides on other subjects.

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2 Responses to Article: SAT AUG 24 at 4 PM “Metta” by Two Venerable Monks

  1. asenerchia says:

    I’ve come up with some “Food for Thought” questions on the article for our next meeting. Please look them over and give them some time, if you have it & are so inclined. I will e-mail a copy of the questions to the Google group for those who would like to have them in a nicer format.

    Also, please do bring your questions and/or comments to the meeting! We’re here to do what we can to help each other along the path.

    True Happiness
    – What is your understanding of true happiness?
    – In general terms, what are some things you have found that make the pursuit of true
    happiness difficult? Why do you think they hinder you?
    – If true happiness is one of “independence & self-reliance,” does that mean we should be
    independent & self-reliant beings or that our happiness should be independent & self-
    reliant?

    Everyday Metta
    – Quoting from page 4 of the PDF, “… the Buddha explicitly recommends developing
    thoughts of metta in two situations where it’s especially important—and especially
    difficult—to maintain skillful motivation: when others are hurting you, and when you
    realize that you’ve hurt others.” What are some situations in which you have had
    difficulty developing metta or when you were especially pleased that you were able to
    establish goodwill in your heart? Do you recognize a theme or themes?
    – Are you developing a goodwill for all beings that is honest, ie applying it to all your
    interactions with others, day-in & day-out?
    – Page 5 : “… living together is often difficult, […] and the happiest policy for all
    concerned is often to live harmlessly apart.” It is easy to understand this when we are
    angry or upset with someone or when we simply don’t care. How might this apply in
    situations with those you want close to you? Those you love?
    – What kind of connections might there be between your precepts & metta? And the other
    brahmaviharas – ie, compassion, empathetic joy & equanimity?

    Translation
    – How important are the connotations of the words used to translate such important terms
    as metta, karuna, mudita & upekkha?
    – Do you feel this discussion is just scholarly minutia, or does it have a real effect on your
    understanding & thinking?
    – Do you agree with Thanissaro Bhikku that “Metta is better thought of as goodwill”?

    Thanks & see you soon!

  2. asenerchia says:

    Just a reminder that we will have a meeting tonight, FRI AUG 9 from 7 PM until 8:40 PM.

    The topic will be the article “Metta Means Goodwill” by Thanissaro Bhikku.

    See you there!

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