Thursday, September 8, 2011

A benediction

May you be filled with loving kindness

May you be well

May you be peaceful and at ease

May you be happy

I don't recall where I came across this Buddhist blessing. I say it like a prayer, fairly regularly; usually for about five people in a sitting, and often a couple times per week. I find it important to always make sure I include at least one person who I find particularly annoying or aggravating. In fact, sometimes it's a negative interaction with someone which prompts me to silently recite it for said being. People who make us unhappy are usually themselves unhappy. It seems natural to retaliate with spiteful wishes (or words...) towards someone who angers us, but if that person were even less happy, interacting with them would likely be even more unpleasant. Even if it's a stranger, who you'll never see again, why send out that negative energy, thereby adding to theirs and increasing the local sum of ick? Better, I find, to wish ill-doers WELL. First off, it gives you an instantly improved attitude (not to mention the therapy achieved by such a mental shift). Secondly, if your wish is granted, future interactions with that person will serve to enhance the joy in your life, and/or that of whoever else he or she encounters, thereby spreading POSITIVE energy, and increasing the local sum of Goodness for all! If you are compelled to take it a step further, express these wishes to said being, with heartfelt sincerity, verbally or in writing. If you are in a position to do even greater good works, take what actions you can to aid in actually granting any or all of these wishes for some one. (By the way, "loving kindness" is defined as similar to compassion, but distinct in that compassion is the wish that others not suffer, whereas loving kindness is the wish that others be happy.) Additionally, I like to say it for myself occasionally, replacing the "you"s with "I"s. This, too, can be of great aid for your well-being. It serves as a sort of check on your perspective, as well as a refresher on a set of worthwhile goals.

With that, I wish these blessings upon you :)

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