Metta sutta chant-along

One way to internalize teachings of all sorts is to memorize them. Most of us learned the alphabet this way, singing the letters out loud to a simple tune, probably in a group.

In the Theravada tradition of Buddhism, chanting is generally done in a restricted melodic range (three or four notes), both to keep things simple and to prevent the chanting of sacred texts from being perceived as entertainment.

I invite you to listen to the audio file linked below. It is a version of the Karaniya Mettā Sutta that was translated from Pali to English by a group of monks and nuns affiliated with the Ajahn Chah lineage. It is chanted regularly in monasteries all over the world, and it’s one of my personal favorites.

The words are below, in case you’re inspired to chant-along (or even memorize) this uplifting sutta.

Sn 1.8, Karaniya Mettā Sutta, translated by the Amaravati Sangha:

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows 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 or 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 upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Sublime states

One response to “Metta sutta chant-along

  1. Thomas De Mann

    Thank you so much. This is a great post and lesson.

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