Cultivating Loving Kindness

The idea of love can mean different things to various people. Love, according to the Buddha, does not mean attachment to a person or an object through which is desires to satisfy his or her selfish craving. Love should be an endless self-immolating compassion, freely flowing towards all living beings.

In the Metta Sutta, the Buddha said:

Let not one deceive another Nor despise any person whatsoever in any place.

In anger or ill-will, Let him not wish any harm to another.

Just as a mother would protect her only child, at the risk of her own life, even so let him cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings.

Love is the soil in which the loved ones grow. It enriches the other person without limiting or restricting him.

Loving elevates humanity.

Love costs nothing.

Loving should not be selective.

Some may think of love as something to receive, but it is basically a giving process. In cultivating love and kindness, we should start with those at home. The love between father and mother greatly influences the atmosphere at home and generates love, care and sharing among other family members. A husband and wife should treat each other with respect, courtesy and fidelity.

Parents should fulfil five duties for their children: avoid doing evil and set an example of good deeds, give them an education, be supportive and understanding in their children's love affairs or arrange for their marriage, and let them inherit the family wealth at a proper time.

A child, on the other hand, should honour his parents and do for them all he is supposed to do. He should serve them, help them at their labour, cherish the family linage, and protect the family hold memorial services for them after they have passed away.If husbands and wives, as well as parents and children follow this advice taught by the Buddha, there will always be happiness and peace in the home. Life is made up of little things in which smiles and kindness and small obligations, given habitually, are way to win and preserve the heart. One mark of a loving person is that he has a compassionate heart.

We should cultivate the habit of helping those in trouble and who are less fortunate than ourselves. One should not merely be sympathetic to another emotionally, but should seek to translate that feeling into positive actions. Extending love and kindness does not mean showering gifts, but the showering of gentleness and generosity of spirit. Kindness is a virtue that the blind can see and deaf can hear. So long as there is one single person whom you can console by words, whom you can entice and cheer by your presence, whom you can relieve by your help, however insignificant or unimportant it might be ,you are a precious possession to the human race and you should never be disheartened or depressed.

Ashin Mettacara

No comments: