Remember the Kindness of Others and Notice the Advantages of Cherishing Others
Thinking of examples from your own and others’ lives, reflect on the benefit of cherishing others that accrues to both yourself and others:
1. Other people are happy.
2. Our lives become meaningful.
3. We get out of our self-centered ways that make us so miserable.
4. We can be happy anywhere, anytime.
5. Our relationships go better and harmony in society increases.
6. We create great positive potential and make it easier for us to change.
7. It’s the root of all happiness of self and others, now and in the future.
Conclusion: Resolve to care for others with genuine affection. Recognize the difference between sincerely caring for others and from caring for them out of guilt, obligation, fear, or codependency.
Love is the wish for all people—including you—to have happiness and its causes. It is cultivating a warm, tender, accepting and embracing feeling tone for all your relationships.
1. Reflect on: What is happiness? Think of the short-term benefits of temporal happiness (the happiness experienced in life) such as that received from having wealth, friends, reputation, health, and so forth. Think of the long-term benefits of happiness received from practicing the spiritual truths: mental happiness and peace of mind, freedom, and contentment.
2. Begin by wishing yourself to have these types of happiness, not in a selfish way, but because you respect and care for yourself as one of many people. Imagine yourself being happy in these ways.
For each of the following groups of people, think of specific individuals and generate these thoughts and feelings towards them. Then generalize to the entire group.
3. Wish that your friends and dear ones would experience happiness. Think, feel, and imagine, “May my friends and all those who have been kind to me have happiness and its causes. May they be free of suffering, confusion, and fear. May they have calm, peaceful, and fulfilled hearts. May they be liberated from all the miseries of life on earth. May they attain the bliss of complete contentment.
4. Generate the same loving feeling towards those who are strangers.
5. Spread your love to those who have harmed you or with whom you don’t get along. Recognize that they do what you find objectionable because they are experiencing pain or confusion. How wonderful it would be if they were free from those.
For each group of people, think of specific individuals and generate these thoughts and feelings towards them. Then generalize to the entire group. You may begin with yourself, wishing yourself to be well and happy, free from pain, fear and confusion. Or you first meditate like this for others and then do so for yourself at the end.
Conclusion: Let your mind rest single-pointedly in this feeling of love for all people—whether or not you directly know them.
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