The Metta sutra and Metta chant

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Only recently was I introduced to the Metta chant. The practice of chanting these words reinforces our aspiration to feel true compassion for all beings — and very specifically, not only the nice ones, but also including the most horrible, awful people we can imagine.

The chant starts with us, ourselves:

Aham avero homi
May I be free from enmity and danger

abyapajjho homi
May I be free from mental suffering

anigha homi
May I be free from physical suffering

Then it continues:

Sabbe satta
May all beings

sabbe pana
all breathing things

sabbe bhutta
all creatures …

avera hontu
be free from enmity and dangers

abyapajjha hontu
be free from mental suffering

anigha hontu
be free from physical suffering

sukhi – attanam pariharantu
may they take care of themselves happily

Dukkha muccantu
May all being be free from suffering

Yattha-laddha-sampattito mavigacchantu
May whatever they have gained not be lost …

You can read the complete chant here, at BuddhaNet.

The Metta Sutra is a different text (read a good English translation here). The teaching is the same:

As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.
With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, and all around,
unobstructed, without enmity or hate.

Breathe.

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2 responses

  1. That’s lovely. I’m pretty sure that’s the metta chant I did at a week long meditation retreat over the summer (July/August). I guess there isn’t more than one, right? At the retreat I learned the classical metta phrases (or at least a set of classical phrases) which I find really useful because otherwise I get confused about what to say when. This is what I use:

    May you be happy and peaceful of heart and mind
    May you be healthy and strong of body
    May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm
    May you accept yourself just as you are and live with ease

    I find that I like to mentally recite each phrase twice because it helps me remember them.

  2. Like I have said I am here and, for now, this is only to register my presence here. Like I have said this is great blog full of much to be practiced. Deep thanks
    _()_ Johan Rosh