The purpose of this meditation is to develop a wonderful feeling of having warm and friendly feelings towards all living beings without exception.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then started by imagining three groups of people in front of me. In the centre were people for whom I have no strong feelings – people I see at work, and people I see in shops. To their left are people for whom I have attachment – my family and friends. I usually feel overexcited and un-natural around them because of my attachment to them. To the right are people who are causing me problems at the moment – people for whom I feel dislike.

warm smileI started by thinking about my friends and family. If I look with wisdom, I can see that in the past, and in past lives, these people have not only caused me problems – they have been my bitter enemies. They are not the exclusively positive entities I currently perceive. I felt my overexcitement lessen, and I made the determination: From now on I will try to remain simply warm and friendly to these people.

After a while I focused on my enemies. Despite their current manifestation, if I look with wisdom I can see that in the past these people have been very kind to me, and even in their actions now, they are helping me develop patience and other good qualities. Therefore if I look with wisdom I can see that they are not exclusively evil, but are much more balanced overall. I made the determination: From now on I will not focus exclusively on their perceived negative qualities, but develop a warm and friendly feeling towards them.

I then considered the middle group of people. I have a naturally balanced and harmonious relationship with these people, and I made the determination that as I can achieve a harmonious and balanced view with these people, so too can I do the same with friends and enemies.

Finally I developed the thought – even though people appear as friends and enemies, and stimulate delusions in my mind based on these current appearances, if I check, I can see that to respond appropriately to them in their entirety, the only sensible option is to treat them with warmth and friendliness.

I then focused on the thought ‘I love you anyway’, thinking that I love living beings regardless of their current appearance, and regardless of the harm they have done me in the past. This is a valid position because to love people on the basis of their kindness is to respond to their truth with wisdom.

I took this determination ‘I love you anyway’ as my object of meditation, and felt an overwhelming feeling of affectionate love for all living beings arise in my heart. When this feeling became strong, I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find equanimity in their hearts, and quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will think ‘I love you anyway’ whenever I see or think of someone.