Guided Jhana Meditations, Instruction, Practice, and Provenance
↓ Guided Jhana Meditations ↓
↓ Jhana Meditation Posture ↓
↓ How To Begin A Jhana Meditation Practice ↓
↓ Jhana Meditation: A Simple Technique With Profound Benefits ↓
↓ Jhana Meditation Verbiage↓
↓ Jhan Mediation Foundation And Provenance ↓
↓ Establishing a Jhana Meditation Practice ↓
↓ Karaniniya Metta Sutta ↓
There is nothing magical or mystical about a meditation posture. The typical meditation posture of seated on the floor with legs folded against the torso is simply a way to sit comfortably during meditation. The meditation posture should be stable, relaxing and support a quiet and alert mind. It should provide a reasonable amount of comfort, avoiding physical distraction for the meditation period. At first, any posture may prove uncomfortable, and the posture described below will become more comfortable with time. It is preferable to sit on the floor supported by a zafu (pillow made for meditation) placed over a zabuton (a larger, flatter mat to support the legs). The zafu should be from 6 to 8 inches thick and is often filled with cotton, buckwheat, or kapok.
When sitting on the zafu place your sit bones on the front third of the zafu and allow your hips to drop in front of you. With your legs straight in front of you, bend your right leg at the knee and place your right foot under your left thigh and near your left buttock. Bend your left leg at the knee and place your left foot approximately in the crease formed by your right thigh and calf, resting on your calf. For more support you can place yoga blocks or a rolled towel under your knees. This posture may be uncomfortable at first, but with time and patience this will prove to be a stable base with which to build a meditation practice on. This is known as the half-lotus or Burmese posture.
If you are particularly nimble, you may want to sit in the full-lotus position. The full-lotus is the same as the half-lotus except for placing the right foot on top of the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Again, there is nothing advantageous about the full-lotus over the half-lotus unless it affords you more stability and comfort.
From this stable base, keep your back straight but not stiff, not leaning forward or back. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel. Place your left hand on top of your right palm with the thumbs tips lightly touching forming an approximate egg-shape with the thumbs and forefingers. Again, there is nothing magical or mystical about this hand placement. When done consistently it leads to quicker relaxation and lessens physical distraction.
An alternative to sitting on a zafu is to use a low bench called a seiza in a sitting-kneeling position usually over a blanket or zabuton.
If sitting on the floor proves too uncomfortable, it is acceptable to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, your back straight but not stiff, ears aligned with your shoulders and nose aligned with your navel. Lying down is the least effective regular meditation posture as it will usually lead to drowsiness. If lying on your back is the only choice due to injury or illness, make the best of it and avoid drowsiness. If drowsiness ensues, stop meditation and begin again when refreshed.
Jhana Meditation is a simple technique with profound and transformative results. It is a technique that anyone can integrate into their lives. Jhana meditation only requires being mindful of the pure sensation of the breath in the body.
It is in its simplicity that Jhana meditation will focus a distracted mind and end the feedback loop of self-referential views. Within the framework of the Eightfold Path, Jhana meditation will develop the introspective insight necessary to abandon confused and discursive thinking.
Developing trance-like states, mindless chanting, distracting imagery or visualizations is not the purpose of meditation.
The purpose of Jhana meditation is to develop gentle and unwavering concentration. From a well-concentrated mind introspective insight into the arising and passing away of all objects, events, views, and ideas will develop. Distracting thoughts originating in clinging, craving, desire, and aversion, will fall away.
The initial difficulty for many beginning meditators is boredom. Boredom is the conditioned need for continual distraction. As the practical benefits of meditation develop, joyful enthusiasm overcomes boredom.
Maintaining mindfulness of the breath brings a gentle focus to meditation, developing concentration. Chasing mystical experiences or ego-driven “insights” is avoided.
Initially, short periods of meditation are effective in establishing a meditation practice. Long meditation sessions will often further condition thinking rooted in ignorance. Unrealistic methods and expectations will often develop without the guidance of the Eightfold Path.
There is no need to struggle with long periods of meditation. A few minutes of well-intentioned gentle practice is enough to begin to incline the mind towards Jhana.
Deepening concentration is the “goal” of meditation, not length of time. As gentle concentration deepens, the length of meditation sessions will naturally increase. Using the breath as a point of focus interrupts following one thought immediately with the next. As the mind quiets, concentration increases.
The insight that develops through the Eightfold Path is not a distracting craving-after-insight into all mundane phenomena. A well-concentrated mind supports skillful introspective insight into the clinging relationship between ignorant views of self and impermanent phenomena resulting in stress and suffering. Skillful insight may occur during Jhana meditation. The Satipatthana Sutta shows that skillful insight more commonly occurs outside of formal meditation through mindfulness of the Eightfold Path supported by the concentration developed during meditation.
Rather than an aspect of direct inquiry into ordinary phenomena during Jhana meditation, skillful introspective insight is more a product of a quiet and well-concentrated mind framed by the entire Eightfold Path being mindful of the path moment-by-moment as life unfolds.
As seen in the Yuganaddha Sutta, developing tranquility and insight in tandem is for “developing the Eightfold Path so that the shackles of self-referential views are abandoned and self-obsessions destroyed.”
The Buddha taught that what is held in mind determines experience. This is why quieting the mind and gaining insight into the nature of stress and clinging is so effective in developing awakening.
The purpose of the Buddha’s teachings is to recognize and abandon craving and clinging rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths. It is craving and clinging rooted in ignorance that creates the feedback loop described in the Nagara Sutta.
Skillful introspective insight into the Three Marks Of Existence and craving and clinging develops the refined mindfulness necessary to recognize and abandon all wrong views. Within the framework of the Eightfold Path, Right view develops as wrong views are recognized and abandoned.
Jhana meditation returns the mind to a tranquil state not subject to reaction caused by conditioned thinking. Conditioned thinking causes continued wrong view which causes continued unskillful reaction. This reaction creates further conditioned thinking. This is another way of describing the feedback loop the Buddha describes in the Nagara Sutta. The insight developed into this process makes it possible to interrupt the cycle of discursive thinking.
This simple technique avoids the distraction common in modern hybrid mediation methods of compulsively analyzing impermanent mental objects. This would only continue ignorant views. The Buddha describes these views and what these views support as "like foam on the water."
It is foolish and unskillful to use meditation to further ignorance in this manner. Simply recognize distraction and return mindfulness to the breath. No further analysis of reactive thoughts or feelings is necessary or effective in interrupting this feedback loop.
Analysis of conditioned thinking during meditation will only strengthen conditioned thinking. What is held in mind will determine experience. A meditation practice alone, without the guidance and framework of the Eightfold Path, will strengthen conditioned thinking while substituting more "acceptable" but still ignorant views. This again is another example of being stuck in a feedback loop of self-referential views.
Having the intention to engage in a meditation practice to fix a broken or flawed self is not skillful use of meditation. Using meditation to realize a hidden Buddha-Nature is not skillful use of meditation. Using meditation to seek pleasant mind states or mystical experiences is not skillful use of meditation. Using meditation in this way will create more self-referential conditioned thinking.  Vipassana - Introspective Insight
One can spend eternity in these distracting pursuits. Concentration supports the refined mindfulness necessary for recognizing and abandoning all wrong views. Concentration supports the refined mindfulness necessary for integrating the Eightfold Path as the framework for developing profound Right View
Jhana meditation will develop a non-distracted quality of mind. This brings the ability to recognize and abandon all conditioned mind states. Ineffective “meditation” practices are abandoned. As stated in the introduction, the Buddha practiced and mastered the most “advanced” meditation techniques of his time - still practiced today - and rejected them as “not leading to the goal” and “not supporting unbinding.”
The Buddha likened establishing a meditation practice to taming a wild elephant. In order for a young elephant to be useful, it must be able to focus and follow direction. To tame a young elephant, a strong rope would be tied around the elephant's neck and to a strong post or tree. The elephant would immediately begin thrashing around, flapping its ears, stomping the ground, and making loud grunts and bellows, very unhappy to not be able to wander around, aimlessly engaging in any distraction that arose.
The more resistant the young elephant became, the stronger the rope held. Eventually, the elephant would put aside its desire for continual distraction and sensual fulfillment and it would settle down.
In this metaphor, an untrained mind is the young elephant, the rope is mindfulness of the breath, and the strong post or tree is the breath.
As one begins to establish a meditation practice, the mind is often thrashing about, resistant to settling down. Thoughts insist on wandering aimlessly with strong desire to continue distraction by following one thought with another, continually describing their own self-created reality.
As mindful awareness of the breath develops the mind calms and concentration deepens. By utilizing the simple technique of Jhana meditation it becomes possible to quiet a constantly distracted mind. With sustained gentle practice guided by the Eightfold Path, clinging, compulsive thinking settles down.
Returning to the metaphor, once the elephant has learned to remain mindful of the post, the rope is loosened and the elephant is finally free. Once tranquility and concentration deepens, the need to describe reality based on desirous thoughts driven by attachment and aversion is interrupted, and useful and skillful insight arises.
As concentration increases, integrating The Eightfold Path begins to clear "fetters" or "hindrances." Fetters are agitated mind states which can make quieting the mind much more difficult if not impossible. As practical insight into Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness develops, fetters subside and Right Meditation becomes increasingly more effective.
In this way it is quickly seen that Jhana meditation is one aspect of a complete path that develops profound wisdom, pure virtue, and unwavering concentration necessary for ending ignorance and for Becoming Buddha.
- Remind yourself that now is the time for meditation. Now is the time to place mindfulness on the breath-in-the-body and do Jhana
- Take a few slow, deep breaths, exhaling fully.
- Breathing through your nose, notice your breath entering and exiting your body. Be mindful of both your inhalation and your exhalation, your breath arising and passing away.
- This is a direct experience of the impermanence of all phenomena. Do not attempt to regulate your breathing in any way. However your body wants to breathe, place your mindfulness on the pure sensation of breathing.
- Notice that feelings and thoughts arise and pass away. Return your awareness to your breath.
- As feelings and thoughts continue to arise and pass away return your awareness to your breath.
- Gently put distractions aside, not following one thought with another thought, and place your mindful awareness on your breathing.
- Gently put distractions aside, not following one thought with another thought, and place your mindful awareness on your breathing.
- This is being mindful of the breath, holding in mind your breath in your body.
- This begins to establish the process of deepening concentration and unifying mind and body.
- Find your relaxed meditation posture.
- Sitting erect, gently close your eyes, gently close your mouth.
- Remind Yourself "Now is the time to meditate."
- Now is the time to set mindfulness on the breath-in-the-body and do Jhana.
- Holding yourself softly, gently, lovingly.
- Allow yourself to settle into your room, settle onto your seat, settle into your body, and settle into your mind.
- Notice the sensation of breathing in your body.
- Become mindful of your inhalation and your exhalation, your in-breath, and your out-breath.
- While remaining mindful of your in-breath and your out-breath, notice that feelings and thoughts arise and pass away.
- We are sensitive and conscious beings. The purpose of Jhana meditation is to increase concentration by not being distracted by the arising and passing away of feelings and thoughts.
- Notice the arising and the passing away of your breath in your body.
- When you find that you are distracted by feelings or thoughts gently acknowledge the distraction and return mindfulness to your breathing.
- Relaxing your thoughts, remaining mindful of the arising and the passing away of your breath in your body.
- We will continue to meditate for ??? minutes, with call-backs every 5 minutes.
- Noticing the arising and passing away of feelings and thoughts while remaining mindful of the arising and passing away of your breath in your body.
Final Five-Minute CallBack:
- Noticing the arising and passing away of feelings and thoughts while remaining mindful of the arising and passing away of your breath in your body.
- And we’ll continue to meditate for five more minutes.
- Notice the quality of your mind. Be at peace with your mind.
- When you are ready, you can gently open your eyes.
This is Jhana practice – being mindful of the breath in the body while thoughts and feelings flow without notice or distraction. Remember that a trance-like state or the forced elimination of all thoughts is not a goal of meditation. We are conscious beings – thoughts and feelings should be flowing. The purpose of meditation is to increase concentration and not be distracted by thoughts and feelings. When you find that you are distracted by your thoughts and feelings, return mindfulness to the sensation of breathing-in-your-body.
As thought constructs or physical feelings arise, dispassionately remain mindful of them for a few moments. Acknowledge the thought or feeling as impermanent and return your mindfulness to your breathing.
You are developing concentration and spaciousness between thoughts. By experiencing your feelings and thoughts while remaining tranquil, you are directly interrupting conditioned reactions and conditioned thinking. By remaining tranquil as feelings and thoughts arise and pass away, you are training your mind to accept the people and events, including yourself, as they are. Dispassionate acceptance of feelings and thoughts as they arise and pass away interrupts conditioned thinking.
It is the reaction caused by conditioned thinking that creates perception of any event. Understanding now reveals the means for freedom and liberation from suffering. Let everything that arises go and return your mindfulness to the pure sensation of breathing-in-your-body..
As Jhana meditation practice develops, the insight and spaciousness realized in sitting practice will become more and more apparent in your life off of your cushion. You will find that you are more peaceful and less reactive. You will find you are more present and mindful of who you are in the present moment. You will find ever-deepening concentration.
Remember that you are not seeking a trance-like or blank mental state. Concentration cannot increase in a trance. Jhana meditation interrupts compulsively following one thought with another thought by being mindful of the sensation of breathing in our body.
If unpleasant thoughts arise, put them aside and return to the sensation of breathing in your body. If pleasant thoughts arise, put them aside and return to the sensation of breathing in your body. If visions arise, pleasant or unpleasant, grand or mundane, dispassionately put them aside and return to the sensation of breathing in your body.
Whatever arises during meditation practice is simply part of what is to be recognized as impermanent and insubstantial and are to be put aside while returning mindfulness to your breathing-in-your-body.
Jhana means concentration or non-distraction. Jhana is the word the Buddha used to describe the purpose and scope of meditation. When directing followers to meditate he would consistently say: “Find the root of a tree or an empty hut (establish physical seclusion) and do Jhana.”
Jhana refers to the single purpose of meditation – to develop profound concentration that can support the refined mindfulness necessary to integrate and develop the entire Eightfold Path. (Reference Yuganaddha Sutta and many others.)
Rather than encourage an unstructured hybrid meditation method, in the context of the Buddha’s Dhamma Jhana meditation supports true and useful vipassana. Vipassana refers to developing the very specific introspective insight into Three Marks Of Existence – Anicca, Anatta, and Dukkha. Here is an article on the meaning of vipassana in the context of the Buddha’s Dhamma:
Here is a link to our Vipassana Structured Study
As concentration increases the mind naturally calms providing the internal environment for true and useful introspective insight.
Here are Dhamma articles on Jhana: Right Meditation
Two thousand six hundred years ago a human being known as Siddartha Gotama became, in his words, “rightly self-awakened.” He was thirty-five at the time of his awakening. He would spend the next forty-five years of his life teaching all that were interested how they could do the same.  The Noble Search For The Noble Path
Siddartha awakened to the profound understanding that it is ignorance of Four Noble Truths that leads to all manner of confusion, deluded thinking, and ongoing disappointing and unsatisfactory experiences.  Nagara Sutta - The Buddha Describes His Awakening
What Siddartha discovered is a simple truth: Ignorance of Four Noble Truths is the originating condition that confusion, deluded thinking, and ongoing stress and suffering are dependent on. [3,4] Dependent Origination - The Paticca Samuppada Sutta | Four Noble Truths - The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
Now a Buddha, he taught Jhana meditation as one factor of a complete path to becoming rightly self-awakened. The path the Buddha taught is known as the Eightfold Path. [5,6] Right Meditation - Samadhi - Jhanas | Eightfold Path - The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta
It is through the Eightfold Path that one is able to develop skillful vipassana - introspective insight into Three Marks Of Existence.  Vipassana - Skillful Insight
Jhana means concentration or a non-distracted quality of mind. Jhana meditation is the only mediation method taught by the Buddha. He taught this singular mediation method for a singular purpose - to deepen concentration. The Buddha understood that a mind rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths will fabricate subtle but powerful strategies to compulsively continue to ignore ignorance. The Buddha understood that only deep and penetrative concentration could provide the skillful focus to support the refined mindfulness necessary to integrate the Eightfold Path as the framework for an authentic and effective Dhamma practice.
It is by integrating the Eightfold Path that the concentration developed in Jhana meditation can be applied in a focused and skillful manner to recognize and abandon all manner of ignorance.
The instructions below provide the guidance for establishing an effective meditation practice as the Buddha instructed. The foundation for Jhana meditation is established in the beginning section of the Satipatthana Sutta, the primary sutta on Four Foundations Of Mindfulness.  Satipatthana Sutta - Four Foundations of Mindfulness
When directing those in the original sangha to meditate, the Buddha would say “Go find the root of a tree or an empty hut and do Jhana.” This was simple instruction to find a quiet and secluded place for meditation. Jhana is a word from the Pail language that means meditative absorption or concentration. This statement is clear and simple guidance on establishing the proper environment for Jhana meditation and the proper purpose - to develop ever-deepening levels of Jhana.
It is most effective for beginning meditators to start with short meditation sessions and gradually extend the meditation sessions. There is nothing to gain from uncomfortably long meditation sessions as the purpose of meditation is to deepen concentration. What is most important is consistency and the right method. Short periods of meditation practiced consistently within the framework of the Eightfold Path will bring a calm and peaceful mind.
Long meditation sessions engaged in only occasionally and without the proper framework will have little ongoing usefulness and can often continue conditioned views rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.
Incorporating Metta Intentional Meditation into a meditation practice can help end distracting negative thoughts towards oneself or others or towards worldly conditions.
The importance of developing Jhana as the focus of meditation is taught in many suttas including the Kimsuka Sutta and the Yuganaddha Sutta. [9,10] Kimsuka Sutta - A Swift Pair Of Messengers | Yuganaddha Sutta
The Buddha taught the Four Foundations of Mindfulness to stabilize the mind by avoiding ordinary distractions. In this sutta, the Buddha further teaches how to apply the refined mindfulness that is supported by the concentration developed in Jhana meditation.
In the Anapanasati Sutta, the Buddha uses the example of senior monks to describe how meditation is practiced, applied to the overall Dhamma, and experienced by those with understanding of the Heartwood of the Dhamma - the Eightfold Path.  Anapanasati Sutta
Meditation is best practiced with a Sangha well-focused on the Buddha’s teachings. If you are not in the Hunterdon County, New Jersey or Bucks County, Pennsylvania area, or you do not have a well-focused Sangha in your area, you can join my classes and our Sangha online Streamed Live.
If you are new to meditation or the direct teachings of the Buddha, you may find benefit from the page for New Visitors.
Here are additional articles and talks on meditation: Meditation Article and Talks
A comprehensive presentation of the Buddha’s teachings is available in my book Becoming Buddha - Becoming Awakened.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Above all, be gentle with yourself and enjoy the Buddha’s Dhamma!
The second and sixth factors of The Eightfold Path, Right Intention and Right Effort, greatly support meditation practice. The strong resolve of Right Intention is to recognize and abandon craving and clinging. Being mindful of Right Effort will provide the framework needed to develop and maintain a meditation practice.
Perhaps the most difficult challenge when beginning a meditation practice, and often as practice develops, is organizing life for practice. The busy-ness and nearly constant distractions of life are always creating the illusion that we are just too busy to practice. The irony is that we often find that we have more time for the most important aspects of our lives when we do make the time for meditation practice.
Being mindful of Right Intention and Right Effort, make a commitment to practice. Put aside set times, preferably twice a day, for meditation practice. It is most skillful to sit as soon as possible after waking before becoming distracted or sidetracked by a daily routine. Simply doing this begins to diminish conditioned mind’s desire to avoid quieting down.
Right Effort is keeping in fit physical, mental and spiritual condition as well. Getting enough rest, eating healthy, and physical exercise are all a part of Right Effort.
Any exercise is a support for meditation practice. Walking "meditation" is a very skillful way to combine exercise and meditation. Walking "meditation" is not a substitute for sitting meditation.
Nothing will bring the mind to a state of quiet receptivity necessary for insight to arise as will an effective sitting practice.
When doing walking “meditation,” walk slowly with hands folded in front of your abdomen or behind you. Avoid extremely slow walking - this is a modern form of asceticism. Maintain mindfulness of your breath and your walking, being aware of each step as your foot touches the earth. Please note that walking “meditation” is not useful as a concentration practice and is best seen as pleasant mindful walking. There is no substitution for sitting quietly twice a day while engaging in Jhana.
Qigong is a very effective exercise that combines slow movements and mindful breath awareness. Qigong increases peaceful energy and builds flexibility, strength and well being. Some forms of yoga (asanas) can also build flexibility, strength and overall well-being though the underlying philosophy often contradicts the Buddha's teachings.
Once a decision to begin a meditation practice has been made, organizing Ife for practice is the first step in establishing an ongoing practice. Committing to meditation twice a day and, within reason, keeping to this schedule is itself part of practice. The most skillful time to practice is when aversion to sitting arises. Meditating, when aversion to meditation arises, diminishes the effects of conditioned thinking, including the conditioned thinking of aversion to practice.
As stated previously, meditating upon arising in the morning is usually the most effective time to schedule a first sitting session. If possible, meditating approximately 12 hours later in the day will provide a skillful balance to practice. If the only other time for practice is just before bed, be mindful of drowsiness. If it is at times difficult to maintain alertness, try to adjust your schedule to earlier in the day.
If it is possible to set aside a room solely for meditation, keep the room clean and clutter free. The room should also be well ventilated and seasonally not too hot or cold. A candle to light during meditation and perhaps a small statue of the Buddha as a mindful reminder of awakening can be an initial point of focus, but are not necessary. If it is not possible to designate an entire room to your practice, a corner of a room that can be maintained as above will work just as well.
Developing a routine of place, time, posture and technique will greatly enhance commitment to practice and help subdue conditioned mind’s desire to avoid the peaceful refuge of practice.
It is best to begin a meditation practice with just a few minutes of sitting at a time. By initially sitting for two or three minutes at a time you will not become disappointed or conclude that meditation is too difficult. As you become comfortable with two or three minutes of practice, gradually add a minute or two to your meditation time. Stay at this length of meditation practice until you are comfortable and feel it is time to lengthen your meditation practice again.
It is most skillful not to push yourself too hard and too fast, and also not to avoid increasing your practice time when appropriate. If you have a teacher or someone who has some experience in establishing a meditation practice, seek their counsel as well.
Establishing a mediation practice will be much more effective if done daily for short periods of time rather than long periods of meditation only occasionally.
Meditation practice is not an endurance test and should not create more stress by having too high expectations of your self and your practice. The strongest impediment to establishing a meditation practice will prove to be your own judgments of your practice.
Joining a regular meditation group that stays focused within the framework of The Eightfold Path is a great support to meditation practice.
If you are following the instructions, putting aside thoughts as they arise, not following a thought with a thought as best as you can, and returning your awareness to the sensation of breathing in your body, you are establishing a meditation practice.
Avoid judging yourself or your practice harshly. Always be loving and gentle with yourself and others and enjoy your practice.
- The Noble Search For The Noble Path
- Nagara Sutta - The Buddha Describes His Awakening
- Dependent Origination - The Paticca Samuppada Sutta
- Four Noble Truths - The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
- Right Meditation - Samadhi - Jhanas
- Eightfold Path - The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta
- Vipassana - Skillful Insight
- Satipatthana Sutta - Four Foundations of Mindfulness
- Kimsuka Sutta - A Swift Pair Of Messengers
- Yuganaddha Sutta
- Anapanasati Sutta
- Three Marks Of Existence - Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha
Samyutta Nikaya 1.8
The Karaniya Metta Sutta is the Buddha's words on Good Will and Loving-kindness. This is a translation from the Amaravati Sangha and describes both the moral and ethical aspirations of one engaged with the Buddha's Dhamma and the refined mindfulness developed through the Eightfold Path.
Note the concluding stanza: "Being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world."
This means that Metta, true goodwill and loving-kindness, is an expression of one who has developed the Buddha's teachings and has freed themselves of the world's entanglements. Having recognized and abandoned the defilements of greed, aversion, and deluded thinking, through the framework of the Eightfold Path, there is nothing to give rise to a confused and deluded ego-personality.
In accordance with the Buddha's description of emptiness, one has emptied themselves of clinging and emptied the world of their ego-self. There is nothing clinging to the phenomenal world, anatta is no longer born again in the world.
The Karaniya Metta sutta shows that the most loving and compassionate action that anyone can take is to engage wholeheartedly with the direct teachings of the Buddha and awaken.
The Karaniya Metta Sutta
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.
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