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Following the basic structure of the Buddha’s teachings, the Metta Sutta can be seen as organized into three themes or sections:

verses
1 - 3.5
The basic virtues, the ethical qualities to be developed.

verses
3.5 - 6

verses
7 - 9

The intentions of one practicing lovingkindness meditation (in direct speech).

A description of lovingkindness practiced as a concentration meditation.



verse 10
The development of insight (Vipassana) which leads out of this world to cessation.

This sense of symmetry and completeness is part of the Metta Sutta’s charm and contributes greatly to its value as an enduring dharma teaching.

Let's look at each theme.

 
5

Themes of the Metta Sutta

1 of 5