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I began this meditation by thinking about other living beings and how they endure constant problems and suffering. These living beings have been so kind to me in the past, holding me in their love again and again. But now they seem like strangers who have no connection with me at all.

It is easy to think only of my own suffering and problems, and ignore theirs. Why is this? Because I have direct awareness of my own suffering and problems.

But if I think about it, I can see that their sufferings and problems are just as important as my own. I am only one person but there are countless other living beings – their combined suffering and problems are like a planet compared to the speck of dust which is mine.

I felt as if I had a hoard of concern for my own ‘self’. It felt like a mountain, tightly bound up in my wish for myself to be happy, keeping it tied up tightly around me.

As I thought about how I could work for just my own happiness or I could work for everyone’s happiness, I felt the cords binding this concern break. I felt all the concern and energy I give myself flood out and away, so that it spread out to all living beings equally with myself.

I felt relief and happiness.  I felt that I could work easily for everyone else’s happiness, without even a second’s hesitation. In fact, the very idea of hesitation did not exist. If I perceived something I could do to help someone else, I would do it instantly, as if I were doing it for myself.

I gazed at this feeling for the rest of the meditation. It was extremely smooth and contented.

My aim today is to maintain this feeling of wishing to cherish others just as much as I cherish myself.

Modern Buddhism

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