Over time, offering lovingkindness to all beings everywhere, including ourselves, unites us to one another, so that we know we cannot go forward forgetting those left behind. We cannot experience true happiness without the development of kindness and compassion.
Fold these ways of bringing kindness to all into your life:
1. Before a meal, take a moment and reflect on those far-flung people involved in your enjoying that meal–the people who grew it, the people who transported it, stored it, and prepared it.
2. Before a meal, reflect on the earth, and the sun and rain and all that nourished that food so it could nourish you.
3. Think of a friend or family member who is difficult, but whom you love anyway. Examine the dynamics of that relationship and how we might care for someone and still honestly see the difficulty.
4. Stay open to surprise. Roles and relationships are constantly changing. Reflect on how we go up and we go down all the time.
5. Pay attention as you are offering help or aid to someone. What emotional or spiritual benefits are coming to you in return?
6. Practice lovingkindness meditation for all beings.
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Sharon Salzberg. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005).