The First of the Four Sublime States: Metta–Love
Love, without desire to possess, knowing well that in the ultimate sense there is no possession and no possessor: this is the highest love.
Love, without speaking and thinking of “I,” knowing well that this so-called “I” is a mere delusion.
Love, without selecting and excluding, knowing well that to do so means to create love’s own contrasts: dislike, aversion and hatred.
Love, embracing all beings: small and great, far and near, be it on earth, in the water or in the air.
Love, embracing impartially all sentient beings, and not only those who are useful, pleasing or amusing to us.
Love, embracing all beings, be they noble-minded or low-minded, good or evil. The noble and the good are embraced because Love is flowing to them spontaneously. The low-minded and evil-minded are included because they are those who are most in need of Love. In many of them the seed of goodness may have died merely because warmth was lacking for its growth, because it perished from cold in a loveless world.
Love, embracing all beings, knowing well that we all are fellow wayfarers through this round of existence — that we all are overcome by the same law of suffering.
Love, but not the sensuous fire that burns, scorches and tortures, that inflicts more wounds than it cures — flaring up now, at the next moment being extinguished, leaving behind more coldness and loneliness than was felt before.
Rather, Love that lies like a soft but firm hand on the ailing beings, ever unchanged in its sympathy, without wavering, unconcerned with any response it meets. Love that is comforting coolness to those who burn with the fire of suffering and passion; that is life-giving warmth to those abandoned in the cold desert of loneliness, to those who are shivering in the frost of a loveless world; to those whose hearts have become as if empty and dry by the repeated calls for help, by deepest despair.
Love, that is a sublime nobility of heart and intellect which knows, understands and is ready to help.
Love, that is strength and gives strength: this is the highest Love.
Love without the desire to possess. I have already come very far this but I need work on it still. I will, someday I hope, let go of jealousy, let go of the desire for certain kinds of attention. I would rather find joy in the people I love and simply be glad of the time I spend with them. It is important to me to release from love the kind of desire that causes unhappiness. I want to have only joy in love.
January 6, 2009 at 9:17 pm
The first sentences of your summation paragraph: Yes.
But the last…well, perhaps a rephrasing would be more appropriate. It is understandable to want only joy. And there is joy in love, but there is also the full gamut of emotions. The love endures through that if you’re fortunate. But, as much as the work is worth it, the path has many twists. That’s part of its beauty, and its worth.
January 7, 2009 at 4:00 am
Oh, yes, I certainly understand the balance, the equal parts dark that is coming with the light of my joy. I only meant that I want to be providing the joy, and not simply consuming it.