The purpose of this meditation is to generate the recognition of the kindness of all living beings, and then to contemplate its meaning in light of wishing love.

I began by engaging in breathing meditation, relaxing each part of my body on the out-breath, until my whole body felt light and supple. I then brought my mind into my heart and mixed it with my Spiritual Guides mind, feeling his stability and stillness as my own. After a while of floating in this blissful feeling, I moved on to the main meditation.

I began by thinking about how I normally think of myself as separate and independent from others. The appearance of my ‘self’ as inherently existent and separate from others leads me to believe that I am independent from all other living beings, and that my happiness and freedom are more important than theirs.

But when I look more deeply, I can see that I am completely dependent on others and cannot survive or grow without them.

The body I call ‘mine’ is, in fact, a product of the union of my mother and father. It grew out of the fusing of two of their cells, and each cell of my body is a product of those two cells. I have not added one single cell that is ‘mine’. Therefore my body completely depends on others.

I thought about the food my body consumes. I do not grow much food – the vast majority of it comes from the shelves of my local supermarket. Where does it come from? From farms all over the world, grown by farmers, picked by workers, prepared by others and transported right to the shelf by others again. How many people helped to get the sweetcorn I ate last night to the shelf in Tesco where I bought it? Hundreds? Thousands? Directly or indirectly, thousands at least.

I thought about my clothes. I do not make any of my clothes. They are made by others, sometimes in countries far away. Once again I contemplated the process of gathering the materials, making the garments and bringing them to my local stores. Thousands of people involved.

I brought all these points together: without the kindness of others, I would have no body, no food and no clothes. Without the kindness of others, I would have nothing. I thought about this point for a while, and slowly a feeling of real gratitude arose in my heart. Once it was established I focused on it…

After a while I thought about what this means in light of wishing love.

In the Lamrim cycle, remembering the kindness of others starts the process of directing our mind towards wishing love. We generate the recognition of the kindness of others, and we cannot help but be filled with a feeling of gratitude and the wish to repay their kindness. This is the seed of wishing love.

With this understanding, I returned to the beautiful feeling of gratitude for the kindness of all other living beings, and rested my mind in that glowing feeling of gratitude for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings see the web of kindness in which we exist, and shun the false idea that we are independent of others, and through this understanding, become liberated and enlightened beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remain mindful of the kindness of others, and see them as kind benefactors, whatever they say or do.