Contemplations on Love, Kindness, and Compassion
He who wants to attain peace should practice being upright, humble, and capable of using loving speech. He will know how to live simply and happily, with senses calmed, without being covetous and carried away by the emotions of the majority. Let him not do anything that will be disapproved by the wise ones.
And this is what he contemplates:
“May everyone be happy and safe, and may their hearts be filled with joy.”
“May all living beings live in security and peace, beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small, visible or not visible, near or far away, already born or yet to be born. May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility.”
“Let no one do harm to anyone. Let no one put the life of anyone in danger. Let no one, out of anger or ill will, wish anyone any harm.”
Just as a mother loves and protects her only child at the risk of her own life, we should cultivate boundless love to offer to all living beings in the entire cosmos. Let our boundless love pervade the whole universe, above, below, and across. Our love will know no obstacles, our hearts will be absolutely free from hatred and enmity. Whether standing or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake, we should maintain this mindfulness of love in our hearts. This is the noblest way of living.
Free from wrong views, greed, and sensual desires, living in beauty, and realizing perfect understanding, those who practice boundless love will certainly transcend birth and death. -The Buddha, Discourse on Love
When your mind is filled with love, send it in one direction, then a second, a third and a fourth, then above and then below. Identify with everything, without hatred, resentment, anger, or enmity. This mind of love is very wide. It grows immeasurably and eventually is able to embrace the whole world. Practice the same way with your mind filled with compassion, then joy, then equanimity.
-The Buddha, Madhyama Agama Sutra 86
There can be understanding and forgiveness because we are all the same. We are kinfolk in birth, aging, sickness and death. We are all members of one clan. If we know this, there is a sobering urgency born within the heart. When we contemplate this body, we are all the same. Someone else’s child is like our child. Other’s parents are like our parents. Our own existence is like that of someone else’s; someone else is just like us. If the mind comes to see in this way, there is an end to harming, to envy and strife, to aggressiveness. -Ajahn Chah
Compassion is a mind having the single savour of mercy for all sentient beings. From compassion all aims are achieved.
-Nagarjuna, Precious Garland of Advice