THE TRAIN RIDE TO LOVING KINDNESS
When I wrote my second post ‘The Train Ride to Oblivion’, I thought the story had a happy ending. Well, that turns out not to be the case. Even though I was able to use mindfulness to calm myself down to the point where I could deal with it, I wasn’t able to calm myself down to the point where the people around me could deal with it. I did not know that there would be collateral damage.
What could I have done do get to the next level. I used mindfulness to turn inward and deal with myself. What I was missing was loving-kindness mindfulness, where you look outside of yourself to extend peace to all.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be at peace, may all beings be free from suffering. What does that mean? My all beings be free from suffering, including ourselves. The Buddha said that all comparisons that we make of ourselves to others (whether better, worse or equal) is conceit, and should be avoided. This is hard for me, because the first step in accepting myself, is identifying myself. I am someone who has the brain wiring of aspergers. For the longest time I hated this thing that set me apart from others and warped my life in ways I could not understand. I hated it with every fiber of my being for a very long time. But I now know, it wasn’t the aspergers that was causing my suffering, but the hate.
A paraphrase of Buddhist teachings:
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”
But how can I not compare my self to others to deal with it? I must remember what I said in my third post – A MATTER OF LOOKING INTO THE EYES, I must remember that the light that shines within all of us is the same. Where did I get this? Eckhart Tolle talks about the duality of mind, there is the part of the mind that experiences life, and the part of the mind that observes the experience. The observer is the same in all of us, it makes no difference how rich we are, how poor we are, whether we have autism, ADD, mania or are gregarious, it makes no difference to the observer, it is the same in all of us.
So next time when my mind is racing out of control, I will remember that it is not just me that needs to be healed, but that those around me are just as important. I will have less attachment to whatever it is I am expecting. May all beings be happy, may all beings be at peace, may all beings be free from suffering.