What is the Metta Prayer in Buddhism?

What is the Metta Prayer in Buddhism? September 21, 2015


Answer by Deily member Rev. Dr. David Zuniga

Metta is generally translated from the Pali as “lovingkindness” or “goodwill.”  Variations of this reflection are sacred in Buddhism, and popular in interfaith settings, and I use variations of the Metta Sutta as a prayer of sorts when I’m in interfaith settings.

This reflection is derived from the Karaniya Metta Sutta in the Pali Canon and contains this lovely passage: “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.” That’s a well known and sacred passage in Buddhism, kind of like the Sermon on the Mount in Christianity.

Conversely, that passage I quote does raise the ethical question how far do we cultivate sacrifice to others? Do we literally “cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings”? Do we favor some beings over others and is that always bad? Thanks for sharing this post. It generated a lot of positive emotions and some reflection for me.

 Read the whole answer and add your comment on Deily.

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