Monday, April 16, 2012

Loving Kindness

In my ongoing efforts to be a calm, happy, mother, wife, and working woman, I attempt to embody the four Noble Truths in buddhist philosophy: suffering exists, attachment causes suffering, suffering can end and there is a path to end it.  The Divine Abodes of loving kindness, along with compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity are important tools to assist us in finding a release and a way of ending our suffering.  Moving out of unhappiness into wisdom and joy is possible with one wish for ourselves and others, 'May all beings be happy and free from suffering.'

Prayer for Loving Kindness

May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be well
May you be happy

I try to remember this at work, throughout my day, and when my older son continues to whine, not listen, and scream his way to what he wants.  In his world, there is only passion and desire to be fulfilled.  My attention, be it positive or negative, is what he craves.  Life is diverse, complicated and confusing on best days, there are challenges and stressors everywhere.  I speak from a truthful heart, sometimes I am quick to judge, angry, bitter, guilty, or sad.  The raw emotions of my children are real and my reaction to them is not always calm, clear, or loving.  I may be holding on to a situation from work, thinking over a discussion with a friend, or coming to a decision about an important life matter.  Practicing the art of cultivating loving relations with all living things is one path to follow. My husband is a constant support to me, as I am to him.  When I react quickly, raise my voice, and take my day out on him, I am not practicing loving kindness.  I am being selfish, as I do not know what he has experienced throughout his day.  Take a moment to look at the other side, there is always another way to see things.

Our relationships with children, partners, family, friends, foes, co-workers, and strangers offer us many opportunities to utilize the Divine Abodes.  When we truly love another, it is easy to be happy when they are happy, to feel sadness when they feel sadness.  The act of loving kindness is effortless as we feel compassion and sympathetic joy.  It is most difficult to practice these efforts with our enemies.  Let go, stay free of attaching yourself, try to acknowledge, love and support without becoming one with the situation, emotion or person.  There is so much unknown in this world, we have no real control over anything, but we do have the power to stay calm and react respectfully, with compassion, and kindness.

"So if you wake up to the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new, and happiness is what you need so bad, the answer lies with you." ~ Page & Plant

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