The purpose of this meditation is to exchange self with others.
My mini retreat at the end of February is actually on Renunciation, but I visited my local centre today for a GP class. A friend of mine is training to be a lay reader for the Church of England and he wanted to visit the centre to find out more about Buddhism – it’s part of his training to find out a little about other religions. I was happy to show him our centre and introduce him to my friends. Although I need to show my face more at GP classes – two people asked me if I was new! My normal night is a Thursday for FP and I don’t tend to go to the centre apart from that and say courses.
So today’s meditation was led my my kind resident teacher. He first asked us to think about the kindness of all living beings. If we enjoy something as simple as a cup of tea we rely on countless other people. After a while he asked us to bring it closer to home and think of people we know who have been very kind to us. As I did this I felt a strong feeling of gratitude. He then asked us to imagine these people’s sufferings, and to recognise how they must feel. Then he asked us to remember that we would feel just like them if we were in their position – in this respect we are the same. Finally, he asked us to remember that our own happiness is inconsequential in comparison to the happiness of all living beings – their happiness is much more important than our own.
The conclusion we reached was that by cherishing others, and abandoning our self cherishing, we find a true wish fulfilling jewel – a source of true happiness which cannot be extinguished.
I realised that I was very grateful to all living beings for their kindness, but I cannot repay their kindness directly because I come into contact with a very small proportion of all living beings. I decided that I would cherish those around me as the representatives of all living beings, and since my cherishing of all living beings is almost infinite, I should cherish those around me continually and completely, regardless of how they behave towards me. I felt very happy and grateful, and full of love.
May all living beings find happiness in cherishing others.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will cherish those around me as representatives of all living beings.