Hi, I recently read the sutta Anuruddhasutta (MN 127) in this sutta there is a mention of a practice that reads: "And what is the expansive release of the heart? It’s when a mendicant meditates determined on pervading the extent of a single tree root as expansive. This is called the expansive release of the heart. Also, a mendicant meditates determined on pervading the extent of two or three tree roots … a single village district … two or three village districts … a single kingdom … two or three kingdoms … this land surrounded by ocean .This too is called the expansive release of the heart. This is a way to understand how these things differ in both meaning and phrasing." Could someone explain what type of practice this is, and provide some contemporary examples of such practice?
I’ve also been interested in this sutta and wondered at its meaning.
I believe this sutta talks about metta meditation and its practice relating to the extent and range to which one spreads metta outwards.
Limitless release of the heart being spreading metta outwards without a limit or boundary.
Expansive release of the heart being spreading metta outwards at an extended range.
In practical terms, one might consider all of the beings, at whichever direction or range, and recognize their good, positive qualities. Bringing up a feeling of appreciation and friendliness toward beings that you know or don’t know. Recognizing “Wow, it’s so awesome that there are people or devas or beings who have great qualities, even in samsara which is so troublesome. That’s incredible that they have such qualities and they want to do the right thing and be kind at heart.”
(That’s just starting to be my interpretation of that practice now.)
In the EBTs metta practice as a meditation is done by just spreading metta to the directions. But it is quite an advanced practice and it seems it is fulfilled and done fully after obtaining a degree of samadhi. Before that, metta is primarily just through thought, speech and action.
This is not my daily practice, but sometimes while walking I observe sky and see it as something in mind, by this way mind becomes more spacious …