Loving-kindness, or metta, is an important part of the Buddhist path. You can read the Karinaya Metta Sutta, the Buddha’s words on loving-kindness, or learn a bit more about what metta is. Here are some of our favorite quotes on loving-kindness.
“The characteristic of loving-kindness is to promote wellbeing. Its function is to prefer wellbeing. Its manifestation is the removal of annoyance. Its proximate cause is seeing the loveliness of beings. It succeeds when it makes ill will subside, and it fails when it produces selfish affection.”
“And how does one abide with one’s heart imbued with loving-kindness extending outward in one direction? Just as one would feel friendliness on seeing a dearly beloved friend, so does one extend loving-kindness to all creatures.”
-The Buddha (Appamannavibhanga)
“Monks, when the liberation of mind through loving-kindness is practiced, developed, resorted to, used as one’s vehicle, made one’s foundation, steadied, consolidated, and perfected, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?”
1. One sleeps happily.
2. One wakes happily.
3. One has no bad dreams.
4. One is loved by others.
5. One is loved by non-humans.
6. One is guarded by devas.
7. Fire, poison, or sword won’t touch one.
8. On’s mind becomes concentrated quickly.
9. One’s complexion becomes clear.
10. One dies with a mind free from confusion.
11. If no higher attainment is reached, one is reborn in the Brahma realms.”
-The Buddha (AN 11.16)
“A monastic dwelling in loving-kindness
And pleased with the Buddha’s teachings
Attains happiness, the stilling of formations,
The state of peace.”
-The Buddha (Dhammapada)
“Cultivating closeness and warmth for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.”
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV
“Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us. Love springs up in tender concern, it blossoms into caring action. It makes beauty out of all we touch. In any moment we can step beyond our small self and embrace each other as beloved parts of a whole.”
“With mindfulness, loving kindness, and self-compassion, we can begin to let go of our expectations about how life and those we love should be.”
“Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion…is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.”
“Metta sees truly that our integrity is inviolate, no matter what our life situation may be. We do not need to fear anything. We are whole: our deepest happiness is intrinsic to the nature of our minds, and it is not damaged through uncertainty and change.”
More about Loving-Kindness
If you’re interested in learning more about metta, or loving-kindness, we recommend checking out Sharon Salzberg’s books. She’s one of the greatest teachers of loving-kindness in the West, and has spent decades learning and teaching all across the world. Here are a few of our favorite books of hers.
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