KID'S METTA | 6-week Applied Loving-kindness Meditation for kids aged 7-12
The song HAPPY NEW YEAR performed by ABBA since early 1980s has become quite popular. Several years ago, I read a Vietnamese commentary on the song lyrics. Recalling in my memory of their ideas, it was quite a rigorous critique of historical [Western] cultural adaptation. Nonetheless, a spiritual practitioner cannot help thinking introspectively about the lyrics. It is likely the rhythm of worldly musings pervaded in the hearts of vintage music lovers. The whole body of words seems to connote some Dhamma meanings through the lens of Buddhism. Should there be such a thing named causal coincidences, let patiently put yourself in Dhamma’s shoes to contemplate the implicitly universal meanings.
THE IMPERMANENCE OF MENTALITY-MATERIALITY (NĀMA-RŪPA)
No more champagne/ And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you/ Feeling lost and feeling blue
It's the end of the party/ And the morning seems so grey/ So unlike yesterday
The implications of words are subtle while the video’s visual performance is sadly sophisticated. Welcoming the first day of a new year, there appears indeed a feeling of disorientation and depression. The woman clearly sees a reality: that party already ended. Likewise, every year-end party is subjected to ending inevitably. Joyful moments in the past were gone, now she sees nothing but a transient feeling of (dis)satisfaction. The new day dawns but deep down in her heart it is so gloomy. In moments of introspection, what does she keep thinking about?
Sometimes I see/ How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives/ In the ashes of our lives
Oh yes, man is a fool/ And he thinks he'll be okay/ Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing he's astray/ Keeps on going anyway...
It is the sagacious contemplation for her to take materiality (rūpa dhammas) as the meditative object - Which is the body itself. Parties were over whereas the ‘beautiful’ body is nothing more than a nature of decay. This rūpa dhamma (the body) attributes the impermanent characteristic to its own intrinsic values. The body ceases moment to moment; yet he who is still a worldling hardly knows and sees the truth genuinely. A defiled mind that never sees a reality of being “astray” at the end of some day. Hardly has he seen the made-of-clay statue which shall be toppled over one day and fallen as time goes by, no matter how solid and stiff the built-in materials used to be.
Seems to me now:
That the dreams we had before, are all dead… Nothing more than confetti on the floor.
It's the end of a decade… In another ten years’ time, who can say what we'll find … what __lies waiting down the line… in the end of eighty-nine...
Now please detach your emotional feelings to see for the impermanence of mentality (nāma) - which that includes feelings, perception, volitional thoughts and consciousness underlies the surface. All of a sudden, the woman self-realized unstoppable instant deaths associated with her boredom mental state as seeing the “confetti on the floor”. Beautiful dreams no longer exist at the moment the ultimate realities have awakened an insight in her. No one knows either what tomorrow brings about nor in ten years’ time. Feelings and Perceptions are changing moment to moment. So are the thoughts. Also, even consciousness keeps passing by to every new arisen contact. There the truth is:
DEATH IS INEVITABLE
the women now comes back to its only present moment
TOWARDS THE CULTIVATION OF LOVING-KINDNESS AND AMITY
It is the truth, that no one can escape from DEATH. Thus she prays for all world-lings and favorably sends the aspirations of benevolence, amity and future wishes. Introspecting about the Deaths - the impermanence and suffering of nāma-rūpa (mind-and-body or mentality-materiality) - triggers the wish to renounce from worldly entanglements of alluring material things. What we care every day and love the most [truth be told is this very body] will decay and perish once its life faculty ends. This is the fact that no one can change no matter how desperately one wants to try.
Thus in this very moment when we say “Happy new year!” to each other,
Let’s open our true hearts to spread more love, support, tolerance and empathy.
If you are on the way to search for happiness, just share a hand and don’t hesitate to give your heart away…
(Viet post in 12-2015)