Ted phoned tonight as he does on Sunday night with news of the week.
The happy news is that the care package I sent a month ago has arrived and that he's got a puppy dog, a gift from the village.
He named the dog Metta, after the Metta Sutta and the Metta retreat we did together last summer. This fills me with joy, gratitude, and gladness.
What's the Metta Sutta you might ask?
It's an early Buddhist teaching, part of the Sutta Nipata, and a favorite of mine. I've memorized this and recite it daily. It's a part of my daily practice. I goes like this:
The Metta Sutta
This is what should be done by those who are skilled in goodness and who know the path of peace.
Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech, humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied, unburdened by duties, frugal, peaceful and calm, 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 safety: May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living things there may be, whether they be weak or strong, omitting none, the great, mighty, medium, short or small; the seen and 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 upward to the skies and downward to the depths, outward 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 understanding, being freed from all sense desires will awaken to the uncreated, unconditioned, deathless and unborn.