+1 vote
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by (1.3k points)

How I am viewing things is that metta cultivates a more habitual sense of loving-kindness for others and oneself.  And is therefore also great for mediating anger and ill will, which supports our practice, let’s say we are  open and less aversive towards reality partially because of metta. And quite similar because of generosity(which metta is a form of, giving away our thoughts and attention ) we become familiarised with letting go,  this also supports out practice.

However, there seems to be an idea that by sending wishes or radiating loving-kindness towards others this may literally change their experience to a more positive one. This is an entirely different approach initially although the outcome/action is the same . One focused on benefits for inclination of mind  and the other focused on helping others. 

My question, is there any point  in helping out of this intent to change someones situation? Let’s say someone is feeling sad, would we want to change their predicaments if feeling is just feeling? I can’t grasp why someone who fully comprehends this would help. 

1 Answer

+3 votes
by (7.7k points)
edited by
Sadness is suffering. Wanting to help a person in misery comes from compassion. Compassion is a wholesome mind state. Cultivating it is beneficial to you regardless of whether it mitigates the other person's sadness.

Feeling is actually 3 fold: painful, pleasant, neutral.  Painful feelings are physical suffering for both enlightened and unenlightened beings. But for unenlightened beings, all 3 types of feelings give rise to defilements that lead to both physical suffering and mental suffering.

When you observe another person suffering, compassion arises naturally unless your mind is overcome by cruelty. Enlightened beings do not have cruelty in the mind. So compassion arises unhindered in them.
by (1.3k points)
Thank you Sanka, it’s hard to imagine what true compassion looks like, I guess because the type I am familiar with intertwines with much clinging. It’s helpful to know that it is the natural inclination of a pure mind.
by (7.7k points)
You're welcome. True compassion is the mental inclination to allay someone else's suffering.
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