The purpose of this meditation is to generate the real feeling of equalising our concerns for ourself with our concerns for others, and then to meditate on this feeling in light of wishing love.

I began by engaging in breathing meditation and then brought my mind slowly into my body, into my heart, and then into the very centre of my heart, where I mixed my mind with my Guru’s stability and stillness. What a lovely start to the day!

After a while I moved on to the main meditation, which is formally known as Equalising Self and Others.

I began by remembering my equanimity, and that the best way to treat all my friends, my enemies and those who are strangers is with kindness, warmth and friendliness. I focused on this for a short while, and then reminded myself that under the surface, they are all my mothers, and they have treated me with extreme kindness in the past. I felt a very warm feeling develop. With this in mind, I looked at how I normally behave – I normally have a view that says that I need to look after myself first, and that others come second. This is not the way to treat others! I made a determination that from now on it will not be ‘me or you’, but ‘me and you’. From now on I will consider everyone to be equally important to myself, and I will work for their happiness as much as I work for my own.

I let these determinations settle in my mind and form a feeling of wanting to work for others while working for my own benefit – being equally concerned for others as for myself. How wonderful this would be! I would get along with everyone, and everyone will see that I am concerned for them. They will experience happiness at my concern, and in turn will be good natured towards me. My life will become peaceful and happy, as will the lives of others I can reach. I focused on this feeling of joy and purpose, and rested my mind on it for a while.

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

It seemed to me that the two were quite similar, although wishing love is a purer mind. Wishing love is a mind which is devoid of self-cherishing, and wishes only that others could be happy. Exchanging others is a very virtuous mind, but is still contaminated with self-cherishing. Nevertheless, it is an essential step in the process of developing wishing love, and a very beautiful mind.

With this understanding, I returned to my wish to be equally concerned for others as myself, and think ‘me and you’ instead of ‘me or you’.

Dedication

May all the virtues I have collected by meditating on the stages of the path ripen upon all living beings, and serve as the cause for them to come into contact with pure Buddhadharma, and the inspiration for them to enter and complete the spiritual path for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my determination: ‘Me AND them’