Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo mettāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati, tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthaṃ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjena pharitvā viharati.
Firstly, a person meditates spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.
Is loka here referring to the external world? Or to the whole ‘sphere’ of ones own mind?
And the directions, and below and above and so on - are these referring to external directions, or the directions of ones mind, so to speak? I.e. that every part of ones own mind is pervaded (pharitvā) with/by mettā?