Metta and Tao

I recently attended a ceremony of celebration for a good friend who died. I enjoyed it, a beautiful and emotional experience. It was somewhat of a profound day content wise.

One of the things I noticed is that there were several times the idea of Metta, or loving kindness was presented, and a Metta prayer was recited. It starts with, “May all beings be Happy.” A nice sentiment, but I found myself examining how I was responding and there is great resistance to that thought.

I’m don’t particularly want everyone to be happy. If I recite that first line, then I’m simply lying and hypocritical.

I don’t want people who have agenda’s about being powerful and controlling others to be “Happy.” If their happy, that means a lot of other people will suffer.

I don’t want people who believe they are superior to be happy.

I don’t want people who are racists to be happy.

I don’t want people who hate to be happy.

I don’t want people who believe women are second class citizens or sex objects to be happy.

The list could go on, but I know you get the point. When reciting the first line I can’t help but think people are talking about a very narrow and self-interested version of “happy.” Which feels condescending.

Someone recently confronted me on my “attitude” and asked if I had a “better” idea.

“May all beings choose KINDESS.”

Yep, that’s it. After several thousand years I seriously doubt the Metta prayer will be ameliorated, but I prefer people be kind instead of happy. Happiness is not a state of being, it comes and goes, and is contingent on multiple variables, but kindness is a choice we can always embrace.

Have a kind day,

Bryan Wagner

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