Awareness and Loving-Kindness

by Friends of Godwin

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I feel it is very, very important to combine awareness with loving-kindness. In this connection there is a very beautiful Mahayana statement where it says: Can you develop awareness like a mother watching her only child? Can we watch ourselves in the same way as a mother watching her child? You have to watch yourself in the same way when you are distracted, disturbed by what other people are doing, and when you are disturbed, distracted by what is happening outside yourself. Now how does one use both awareness and loving-kindness in relation to that?

For instance here, when you want to be silent, if someone is speaking, then what you can learn to do is to observe the anger, to be aware of that anger. Your tension, your anger is in relation to what is happening inside you, and not what the person is doing. It is because of your sensitivity that you developed that anger.

So this is where loving-kindness comes in. So you say to yourself: I am angry, I am annoyed, I am a meditator, but it is okay to get annoyed. It is okay to get irritated, because that person is giving me an opportunity to work with this situation now. So let me feel grateful to that person because he is creating this situation for me, so that I can learn to work with my anger: May that person be well, happy, and peaceful as I work with this anger.

In this way we are learning something very valuable, we are learning from our own mistakes, we are learning from our own reactions. So the emphasis is not on the person or the situation that is creating the reaction, but you learn to make that reaction the object of meditation.

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