From 14 to 16 June, 33 participants gathered at Mitraville Meditation Centre in Kundasang, Sabah, for Sutta-Learning Retreat conducted by Nalanda founder Bro Tan. The participants came from several local Buddhist societies to learn the popular Karanīya Mettā Sutta (Sutta Nipata 1.8) to deepen their understanding of each Pāli verse for spiritual growth.
The Buddha first expounded this sutta to 500 monks for their protection when they went into the forest to practise meditation. Bro. Tan explained how the sutta expands on establishing a foundation of virtuous qualities before one is able to develop a sense of friendliness and goodwill towards others. When we develop this mental state of mettā, we maintain boundless goodwill towards all beings regardless of who they are.
For one who wants to cultivate mettā, he will benefit from observing the Five Precepts to ground him in morality and help in purifying his mind. This skilful state allows one to overcome the poisons of aversion and anger, which if left unchecked, will lead him to more unwholesome thoughts, speech and actions.
Bro. Tan also explained the eleven benefits of mettā including feeling serene, as recorded in the Anguttara Nikaya 11.16. We record our appreciation to Aloka House Sabah for organising and graciously hosting this retreat. We wish our Sabahan Dhamma friends well and happy; may they continue to practise to gain joyful peace.