The purpose of this meditation is to equalise our self-cherishing with our cherishing for others, and then to meditate on this equalisation in light of the fact that all living beings are our mother.

I began once again with some breathing meditation and after a while my mind became sufficiently still to start thinking properly about the main meditation topic.

I thought about my previous meditations where I identified that all living beings are my kind mothers, and I spent a while remembering just how kind my mother has been to me. I thought about how all living beings are very kind to me because they act as objects for my practice. Without them I could not practice.

I thought about something I heard a few days ago. If I walk, I have to do it with my surroundings. I cannot walk independently of my surroundings. If I just think of my body on its own, then it can’t walk anywhere – its legs just move, but it cannot be said to be walking. In the same way, I cannot generate love, compassion or Bodhichitta without other living beings. Without them, these concepts are meaningless.

I thought about their kindness, and then I thought about how they are all trapped in samsara just like me. We are all equal in this respect. Given this situation, I should cherish them as much as I cherish myself. I should work for their happiness just as much as I work for my own. I need to repay their kindness.

As I thought of this, one of the things I like so much about meditation occurred. I imagined all living beings in front of me, and I put my arms around them all. My arms extended around all living beings and hugged them. We were all together and cherishing each other equally. I relaxed and enjoyed the feeling of cherishing others as much as myself.

After a while I thought about what this means in light of the fact that all living beings are my mother. This point was already established in my initial meditation, so I just emphasised it more and returned to the original meditation object. It was a lovely meditation to do – even while sitting in my car in Tesco car park!

Dedication

May all living beings train in equalising self and others, and through this training quickly attain the happiness of great enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to maintain an attitude of cherishing others, and see if I can cherish them as much as I cherish myself.