We broke our communal silence on the last day of our retreat by reading aloud the magnificent Metta Sutra. “This is the only teaching material I carry with me,” Sylvia told us.

Thank you to Sharon Salzberg for posting this on her beautiful website. (And to Jim Dine for Viennese Hearts II)

Metta Sutra – The Buddha’s Words on Lovingkindness

This is what should be done

By those who are skilled in goodness,

And who know the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright,

Straightforward and gentle in speech,

Humble and not conceited,

Contented and easily satisfied,

Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways,

Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,

Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing

That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: in gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be;

Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,

The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,

The seen and the unseen,

Those living near and far away,

Those born and to-be-born—

May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,

Or despise any being in any state.

Let none through anger or ill-will

Wish harm upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life

Her child, her only child,

So with a boundless heart

Should one cherish all living beings;

Radiating kindness over the entire world,

Spreading upward to the skies,

And downward to the depths;

Outward and unbounded,

Freed from hatred and ill-will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,

Free from drowsiness,

One should sustain this recollection.

This is said to be the sublime abiding.

By not holding to fixed views,

The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,

Being freed from all sense desires,

Is not born again into this world.