The purpose of this meditation is to develop a warm and friendly feeling towards all living beings, and then to meditate on this feeling in the light of the fact that all living beings are our mothers.

I began with breathing meditation, counting my breaths from one to eighteen, then starting again at one. I tried to keep my mind on the number of the breath as much as I could. In the beginning my mind darted away from my counting, but after a few cycles with me bringing it back to the breath, I felt my mind become more settled and focused. In the end, my mind seemed to come to rest and I found I could leave the counting and just enjoy the lovely feeling of having a settled mind.

After a short while I moved on to the topic for this meditation. Although I see people all around me who seem to be intrinsically pleasant, unpleasant or just boringly unmoving, these impressions are completely misleading and mistaken. Someone I see as pleasant may well appear to someone else as unpleasant and a trigger for unhappiness. What is the nature of the ‘true’ person?

If I look with my normal eyes I see ordinary appearances, but if I close my normal eyes and look with my wisdom eyes, I can see their true nature. With my wisdom eyes I can see that all living beings are simply suffering beings, trapped in the prison of samsara. They are all the same because they all want to be free from suffering and experience only happiness. Their normal appearances are just my mistaken projections. They deceive me and cause me to behave in ways which are harmful to myself and to others around me.

With my wisdom eyes I can see that developing anger or attachment towards mere appearances does not make any sense. It will only lead to more pain and suffering for myself and others. The best attitude to develop towards others is that of warmth and friendliness, regardless of their normal appearance.

I focused on this wish to see people as the same – suffering beings trapped in samsara – and I concentrated on developing a warm and friendly feeling towards others. I kept this in mind and I felt a lovely warm feeling  radiating out from my heart towards all living beings. I stayed in this feeling for a while, familiarising myself with how it feels.

After a while I moved on to the next stage, which was to see what this feeling means in the light of the fact that all living beings are my mother. This was very easy to integrate into my feeling of warmth and friendliness: not only are all living beings the same – they are all my mother. I thought about this beautiful relationship and how completely mixed with love it is.

I have been reading a short book recently which describes the relationship between three people who truly love each other. In their relationship they are completely mixed with each other. There is no ‘me’ and ‘them’ – there is only ‘us’. In a normal relationship there is a hard core to ourselves which knocks and bumps against others when we have disagreements, or when we judge each other. But in their relationship it was like none of them have this hardness, and consequently they have no way of bumping or knocking each other. They laugh together, co-operate, tease each other good naturedly and freely express their pure love and admiration for each other’s good qualities.

I thought about how lovely it would be to have that relationship with my family and everyone else I come into contact with. How delightful and happy it would be simply to be with others!

Once again I thought of the phrase ‘Be the change you want to see’.

I want the softness of love all around me. I want to be in a relationship with everyone I know where we have a genuine love and tenderness for each other. How can I make this happen? By bringing my feeling of love, warmth and friendliness with me into my everyday life. By caring for others by thinking only good things about them. By ignoring their perceived faults and trying to identify and overcome my own. I wanted to bring the softness of this pure love into my whole life and into the lives of everyone around me. I felt completely filled with soft love and the wish to create this in my own life. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation. It was very moving, and captured everything I am trying to do with my life.

Dedication

May all living beings learn to use their wisdom eyes to see the true nature of everyone around them. May they use Buddhadharma to bring the softness of love into their lives, and through the cherishing of others, may they spread joy and happiness across the world, quickly attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all.

May Geshe Kelsang live for a very long time and continue to give pure Buddhadharma to all living beings. May the tradition of Je Tsongkahapa flourish and bring good fortune to all living beings. May the Gurus, teachers and practitioners have very long lives full of good conditions. May all living beings open their hearts and receive the blessings of the Buddhas. May they find happiness and peace, and may the experience of samsara quickly come to an end.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will care for others by thinking only good things about them. I will ignore their faults and try instead to identify and overcome my own. Using my wisdom eyes, I will to bring the softness of this pure love into my whole life and into the lives of everyone around me.