Work a Miracle with Metta
By a miracle, I mean a
beautiful thing or happening which occurs out of or beyond our
expectations. In this sense we can work miracles with metta. There will be
greater miracles if we have stronger metta.
The Miracle at Home
and in Society
Once a friend said she had disagreements with a member of the
family who shared the same house with her. I told her to do metta
regularly to that person. Strangely enough the situation changed and they
became close. She was surprised because she admitted that her
concentration was really not too deep. Life would be much happier if all
of us are very good friends. This is especially relevant to those we are
living or frequently associating with together. Whether it is a family
house, office, temple, or any social organisation, why not regularly hold
metta sessions together? Call all the family members every morning and
radiate metta to each other. After that we can have a good heart-to-heart
talk. A lot of quarrels and misunderstanding can be ironed out. Then the
home is a real home, a place where there are people you'd like to be with.
The same also applies to the temple, office or any social organisation.
The Miracle of
When we meet with sick people we can radiate compassion to them.
The mind we believe is a powerful force. Where the divine abidings are
concerned, they can bring about healing. For a start it will definitely
help to boost the sick person's morale. A happier mind suffers less and
also helps the body to recover faster. Once I had a friend suffering from
cancer. The pain as one can expect was terrible. I tried to use my mind to
relieve his pain. What I noticed in my effort is that it first came with
setting his mind at peace, for mind does influence mind. Following that, I
noticed that there are physical forces that arise with that peaceful mind.
These are restorative and helpful. In the end it does help to overcome if
not a lot, then some pain. Why not try out with regular
visits to the sick, the old and suffering. One can do it by oneself,
better still in a group. Radiate compassion to the suffering. Feel the
peaceful compassion from your mind envelop and penetrate his. Feel the
vibrations that come with the compassion likewise envelop and penetrate
his body. Do so with deep concentration. Do so for long periods. Relieve
the suffering of others.
The Miracle in the
The forest represents a place where danger lurks at every
corner. Wild animals such as tigers and snakes move around freely. Unseen
spirits or even demons may abound. When we are in such a situation it is
very important that we have enough metta to overcome our fears and
favourable citation of the power of metta is the incident when the Buddha
himself was faced by a ferocious drunken elephant charging at him. The
Buddha showered metta onto the animal and brought it to its senses. It sat
down at the feet of the Buddha. I have also heard of a forest monk whose
metta was so strong that even a tigress chose to bear and wean her cubs
under his hut. Animals are normally very sensitive to metta and may sometimes
respond better than humans! In another incident I walked casually into the
forest and found myself lost and the night was setting in. Then I
remembered someone told me that a way to get out of such a situation was
to radiate metta to the tree spirits. I did so and found myself out in
another direction very soon. Coincidence? Well it helped firstly to stop
any panic. It preserved the mindfulness to get my bearings right. I do not
know if the tree spirits helped me, but the way out seemed to be
exceedingly smooth. In other stories the deities do lend a helping hand to
people with metta in times of danger or trouble. The arahant Subhuti, foremost
in metta, once meditated in a field. The deity refused the rain to fall!
This caused worry among the farmers. But when a hut was erected for him,
the rain poured. It is usual for Buddhists to gather together in times of danger or
trouble to do recitations and metta to the world, to the deities and all
beings to summon up the blessings of the Triple Gem, and so on. It is
believed to be effective in preventing and averting dangers.
There may be many other instances that the power is made to
work wonderfully to relieve the sufferings of beings. But in working these
we must remember not to have selfish motives – to feel proud or attached
to these things. Of all these miracles, the greatest miracle metta gives is the
miracle of purification. When we have metta, our defilements are overcome.
Special reference can be made of ill-will or anger. It soothes us as much
as an antidote that removes the snake's poison that burns in the
Ways of Working out Metta
The cultivations of
metta in an intensive manner for absorptions/deep concentration can be
done on a solitary basis or in groups. Solitary meditation is conducive to
tranquillity meditations as it is usually more quiet and less likely to
run into misunderstandings with others. Alternatively, group meditation
involves more people and although some may pose as distractions, the group
effect and effort can be of mutual help and support. If we can be a little
selective as to who comprises the group it can smooth out things. The
joint group effort can arouse and combine potent mental forces into a more
powerful force. It should first reinforce each of us by our radiating of
metta to each other in the group. Then we can radiate outwards.