The Dhammapada is a collection of verses attributed to the Buddha that are believed to contain his teachings on ethics, wisdom, and meditation. The concept of loving kindness, or metta in Pali, is central to the teachings of the Buddha and is a key virtue in many schools of Buddhism.
According to the Dhammapada, loving kindness is the desire for the well-being and happiness of all living beings. It is a practice of cultivating compassion, empathy, and a sense of interdependence with all beings, and is often associated with the cultivation of positive mental states such as joy, peace, and equanimity.
Here are a few verses from the Dhammapada that relate to the practice of loving kindness:
- “Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time. Hatred ceases by love. This is an old rule.” (Verse 5)
- “By love they are released from hate, by praiseworthy actions they are released from suffering.” (Verse 5)
- “Let one not deceive another nor despise any person whatever in any place. In anger or ill will let him not wish suffering to anyone. Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so let him cultivate a boundless heart toward all beings.” (Verse 133)