Last week I wrote some opening remarks about the third question of the Simple Path, “Who do you love in this world with whom you have little or no conflict?”
Before you can achieve any high degree of wisdom or enlightenment in this life it is necessary to learn to offer love to all who live as a central theme of your life. This is just as true for the atheist or secular humanist as it is for those who follow a God centered religion.
But most of us are angry at someone. It may be someone in our past or our present, someone in our family or our workplace. It may be some news commentator we believe distorts the truth in a partisan manner. It may be some hypocritical spokesperson of the poor, or some greedy corporate baron seeking to control elections through massive campaign contributions. It may be some political leader or some vicious gang member in the neighborhood that everyone is rightly afraid of.
For most people it will take a while before they uncover their “Anger List.” The workshop on this web site called “The Anger List” will help. For most people it will take a good long time before they are even willing to try to “love their enemies” as a Jewish friend of mine once suggested was the way to go.
But anyone and everyone can start with these more elementary efforts:
You can sit in silence and stillness alone or with others. You can sit in a chair or in some cross legged posture. You can call to mind the people you love the most with whom you have little or no conflict. You can learn to offer positive wishes for their well being on a more regular basis.
“May my wife or husband be happy, may they be well. May they know the joy, health and prosperity all men/women seek for their life and their family.”
“May my boy friend/girl friend be happy, may they be well. May they know the joy, health and prosperity all men/women seek for their life and their family.”
“May my parents and my children be happy, may they be well…..”
“May my brothers and sisters be happy, may they be well……”
“May be nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles be happy, may they be well……”
“May my best friends be happy. May they be well.”
The process begins with offering positive wishes with an open and sincere heart.
This will help you remember that some of the deepest wishes of your heart are that those you love will be safe and happy in this beautiful but troubled world.
Offering these positive wishes silently within yourself will call forth feelings of love and care, of hope and benevolent intentions. You can then spend more time with the feelings of love and hope and offering these feelings on a more consistent basis.
It is like a person who instead of going to the gym once a month to work out, begins to do some exercises several times per week. The increase in benefits from offering positive wishes to others on a more regualr basis will be just as noticeable.
Please let me know what you find as you do this practice. All constructive comments will be posted.
More next week.
Will Raymond Author of The Simple Path of Holiness host of MeditationPractice.com