Hatred is never overcome by more hatred.
Dhammapada verse 5
Happy New Year!
Loosing yourself in Love.The teachings of love have been the most important part of my spiritual journey and of my life. The first words I ever understood my teacher to say as we sat together in a simple Dhamma hall when we first met forty years ago were, 'if you want to be truly happy in life you must cultivate a loving heart'.
This was the part of my practice that had been missing.
Those words resonated within me and became my raison d'être.
Even when it was difficult, even when it seemed pointless, even when I felt too tired I made my intention to be loving. Sometimes strong and defiant, but always clear. Yes must mean yes, and no must mean no! Love is never weak, but also never aggressive. Love has the gentle quality of powerful clarity, and so always resides with integrity.
Apart from the presence and wisdom of my teacher, my guide and support for all those years of training was the Metta sutta and particularly the middle section.
May all beings be happy and secure, may their hearts be wholesome.
Whatever living beings there may be, feeble or strong, tall, stout or medium, long, short or small, seen or unseen, those living far or near, those who are born and those who are to be born, may all beings, without exception, be happy.
I recited this many, many times every day slowly opening my heart to be accepting of the way of the world. Judgements and opinions fell away naturally and I recognized the fundamental truths that beings are the way they are, that is their responsibility, but I the way that I am and that is my responsibility.
When beings are cruel and unkind it is because they are unawakened, because of these actions and words they will meet unhappiness in the future. This is never a punishment, but only a consequence. When we live with love our life becomes loving, when we live from fear our life becomes fearful.
The equations in Dhamma are always very simple.
Cultivating a loving heart does not make anyone a victim, but only releases them from an emotional misunderstanding of life.
So I repeated this formula every day because I wanted to be free, and freedom lies in love.
This verse for me is very beautiful, but there is one point that may be easily missed when we chant Buddhist teachings without true investigation.
The sentence that precedes these words in the Metta sutta is an instruction from the Buddha. He says, as the master teaches his disciples, 'you should always be thinking, may all beings be happy and secure...'
You should always be thinking.....
These are the thoughts that you need to carry with you in your day and in every moment of that day. Not how can I earn more money. Not how can I be promoted at work. Not how can I get everything that I want. Only may all beings be happy and secure, may their hearts be wholesome (etc).
To loose yourself in love is to find a life that has value to yourself and others.
Without a loving heart no matter how religious or spiritual we may like to think of ourselves we are only like chickens pecking in the dirt and scratching in the ground, judging and commenting on the lives of others, taking our power from critisising, ridiculing and even humiliating those others, but in the end, never really happy.
If you really want to be happy in life, you have to cultivate a loving heart.
Love is the antithesis of fear, and so is true freedom in life.
Love is kind, generous and caring to all beings equally in every moment, without requiring something in return.
The masters say;
I am kind to those who are kind to me.This is the way of love, and so when I say, may all beings be happy, this is exactly what I mean.
I am kind to those who are not kind to me.
I am kind.
May all beings be happy
That people kill animals is a fact of life. That people are cruel and unkind to other living beings is a fact of life. That the meat and dairy industries are completely without love and compassion is a fact of life. That animals are seen only as produce by individuals and especially large profit based corporations is a fact of life. That you are part of this is a fact of life. Now, what do you want to do?
When the life is simpe the mind is spacious. But which comes first?
From Not This
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