Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.
The great way is not difficult
for those who are unattached to their preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
and everything will be perfectly clear.
Cling to a hairbreadth of distinction,
and heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want to realize the truth,
don’t be for or against.
As vast as infinite space,
it is perfect and lacks nothing.
Because you select and reject,
you can’t perceive its true nature.
Don’t get tangled in the world;
don’t lose yourself in emptiness.
Be at peace in the oneness of things,
and all errors will disappear by themselves.
– third zen patriarch
Let’s say you are driving on the highway. And as you are zipping along, someone cuts you off and speeds off.
Do you yell at them? What do you say? What do you call them? Because it is not so much the yelling as it is the message.
Here’s the thing: you don’t know anything about that someone except that he or she has a beating heart. Or you could say, we don’t know anything about her except that she has a soul.
And so when you are yelling, be aware that it is at her heart that you are yelling. It is at her soul. And what message did you send to that stranger’s heart? What did you choose to impart to her soul?
The highway is a great place to learn about loving-kindness. Other than driving, you are not particularly busy. You are too busy to meditate, but not too busy to be mindful. Try looking at the other cars and imagine that the drivers are all your favorite people. They are your grandparents, your grandchildren, your favorite teacher from third grade, and your most beloved friends. Because that’s just what they are: grandparents, grandchildren, favorite teachers, and beloved souls. If your favorite teacher from third grade were to cut someone off in traffic, would you hope that someone called her an asshole?
If you must yell – and it is a natural response to being cut off – try thinking of something caring to say. How about, “Oi, be careful! You might hurt someone or yourself!”
If you train yourself to make this simple change, you will notice the difference. You will be on your way.
As I enter into the stillness of the night, I know that I am one with all beings.
I embrace those aspects of myself that are fragile and vulnerable.
I send loving kindness to those I know, and to all beings near and far.
Centered and balanced, whole and complete, I can breathe fully and freely.