Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part I, by Ven, Mahasi Sayadaw

(16) Developing Metta and Vipassana Meditation in combination

A person after achieving jhana by developing metta bhavana can reach the stage of arahatta phala if he continues to contemplate Vipassana depending on that metta jhana as a basis. Even if falling short of arahatta phala, he can reach anagami-magga-phala and become an Anagami. The way to contemplate is to first enter into metta jhana, and when this jhanic mind ceases, it is to contemplate on that jhana. This method of plunging in jhana and then contemplating jhana in turn by developing and contemplating Samatha and Vipassana in pairs, is called “yuganaddha”, i.e., equipping oneself with meditation in pairs. The method of meditating Vipassana is the same as the method of contemplating and noting by the present Yogis. It is to contemplate and note what has been seen, or heard, or contacted, or imagined as “seeing”, “hearing”, “contacting”, or “imagining”, as the case may be. In the same way, after the occurrence of the jhanic-mind, this jhanic-mind will have to be contemplated and noted. The only difference is that a person who has attained jhana, contemplates the jhanic-mind, whereas the present Yogis, not being endowed with the jhanic-mind, should contemplate and note the mind or consciousness that is aware of what has been seen, etc.

What shall be done now according to the method of yuganaddha contemplation, is to develop metta reciting as: “May all be happy”. Then, contemplate with mindfulness on loving-kindness in turn. Developing metta along with the contemplation of metta-mindfulness in pairs, is the method. If so contemplated, the mind that is intended to radiate to a particular person while recitation is made, rupa – the material element which utters, the sense-object of voice which sounds, and the mind-consciousness which dwells in his heart while reciting as: “May all be happy”, will all be found vanishing instantaneously and continually. Such realisation or awareness is the genuine Vipassana insight knowledge which knows the characteristics of impermanence. This is stated as, “khayatthena aniccam” (having ceased or vanished in a moment, it is impermanent). Let us bear it in mind and contemplate in the course of our recitation in the following manner:

May all those monks, individuals and Yogis residing in this meditation centre be happy. (repeat)

May all beings in this meditation centre be happy. (repeat)

May all monks and individuals within this township be happy. (repeat)

May all beings in this township be happy. (repeat)

May all people living in the Union of Burma be happy. (repeat).

May all beings be happy. (repeat)

Every time it is recited as: “May all be happy” with consciousness, the mind that is put into this consciousness, and the mind that intends to recite, the bodily behaviour, and the sense object of the voice which utters, immediately vanish.