Yesterday’s meditation was on cherishing love, and today’s meditation was compassion.
My take away from them was a lovely feeling desperately for them to be free from their suffering.
Yesterday I had a fight on my hands with this meditation because I had developed negative feelings towards someone close the night before. I was still cross with them in the morning, and then I had to sit down and generate a mind that loves all living beings. Perfect conditions! I went through the contemplation and developed gratitude for all living beings, and in the middle of this feeling was a very un-cherishing feeling towards this person.
It was extremely interesting to see just how hard this feeling was to budge. Intellectually I knew the need to love all living beings and to believe their happiness and freedom to be supremely important, and yet in my heart, this feeling of dislike was stubbornly sitting there not moving! I would like to say that I dislodged it in meditation, but I didn’t and when I arose from meditation, I was still cross with this person. But what I had learned was that I really need to improve my practice because it is all well and good developing cherishing love when things are good. I need to be able to do it when things are bad.
During the day I had plenty of time to think things over, and slowly I made progress by reminding myself of the benefits of cherishing others and the disadvantages of self-cherishing. But I still found myself thinking ‘let’s not worry about all that now! They really annoyed me!!’
Anyway, today’s meditation went much better and I though about how living beings are like animals caught in a trap. The don’t understand the trap they are in, but they experience the suffering it causes. They don’t understand how to free themselves, and they try everything they can think of to reduce the pain. Some things work to a certain extent, but most of the time they are suffering. If that is the case, it is not surprising that they are angry and hurtful. This was a helpful thing to realise considering yesterday’s poor performance. I developed a very patient mind full of understanding, and also a wish for them to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
Once I had that feeling of the meaning of compassion, I stayed with it.
May I have perfect conditions to train my mind, and may all living beings find happiness and freedom from suffering.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will think hard about how stubborn delusions are, and take the opportunity to study how my mind feels when they arise.