Part 05 :
Bhavana for the Mind Full of Hatred
One with a mind full of hatred lives in perpetual anger. Such a person does not
respect others. Even the wholesome activities of the others are viewed as
incorrect and thinks only oneself is correct. A person with a lot of hatred
sleeps of ten in a crouched position.
The four methods of bhavana explained in the Teachings for individuals with
hatred are bhavana of mettha (amity), karuna (loving kindness), muditha
(appreciative joy) and uppekkha (equanimity).
l When one is kind to oneself, one does not like oneself to be subjected to
painful suffering. It is known as mettha. Then one wishes “may I be well”. The
Mettha bhavana is an extension of this thought to all beings without
l When others are subject to suffering and pain, one’s mind becomes full of
compassion and extends the wish “may they be well, happy and free from
suffering”. This is the bhavana of Loving kindness of Karuna.
lWhen others make progress, one feels happy with out having any trace of
jealousy. This is known as bhavana of muditha or appreciative joy. Then one
extends the wish “may they be successful, may no harm come to them, may no
difficulties come to them, may they have courage, determination, understanding
to overcome the problems”.
lPerception of things without any attachment is known as equanimity. When any
one attempts mindfully to extend wholesome thoughts to other beings, it is known
as bhavana of Uppekkha or Equanimity. Then one extends the wish “may they be
successful, may no harm come to them, may no difficulties come to them, may they
have courage, determination, understanding to overcome the problems” to all
beings without any limitation and discrimination.
Mettha bhavana can be explained as follows.
First, one has to paint a mental picture of one’s happy state of mind and extend
happy thoughts to oneself for some time. One may think “May I be well, happy,
peaceful and prosperous. May no harm come to me. May no difficulties come to me.
May no problems come to me. May I always meet with success. May I also have
patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome the
inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life”.
When one has achieved both physical and mental Samadhi on this thought, it is
gradually extended to parents, teachers, relatives, friends, non-friends, other
people not known and finally to all beings.
When focusing the mind for the extension of mettha, one may try to assume the
picture of a happy state of the corresponding individual. While extending mettha
to others, one may have to redirect one’s thoughts to remain on the right path.
It is possible that unwholesome thoughts may surface. When extending mettha
thoughts to those who are very dear and close to the meditator, it is possible
that lustful thoughts may appear. But one has to be aware of such instances and
should be able to disregard it by recognizing that it is an inappropriate
thought. When one attempts to extend wholesome thoughts to one’s non-friends,
thoughts of anger and hatred may surface. Similar to lustful thoughts one has to
recognize it as inappropriate and disregard them by focusing the mind on
It is a social habit to consider individuals who are intolerable and make
trouble, as one’s enemies. However, one who mediates has to forgive anyone who
is considered to be an enemy. The mental, physical and verbal forgiveness to
those who are intolerable and make trouble leads to a humble and calm mind.
Therefore, the meditator should not forget to train this quality from the
inception of bhavana. Those
who fail to train this quality may not achieve success in reducing the hatred in
Metthanisansa Sutra explains the following 10 benefits of mettha bhavana.
Bhavana for the Mind Full of Delusions
When the mind is full of delusions, one gets entangled in them due to ignorance.
It does not enable one to understand or realize the true nature of things. There
will be a high level of dissatisfaction about everything, Everything seems to be
confused. Such as individual is in a perpetual state of restlessness, and
regret. When one is dominated by delusions, the most appropriate type is the
breathing bhavana or anapana sati bhavana.