Cultivating loving kindness through meditation (2)

The topic for discussion today at the Buddhist meditation meeting is loving kindness towards a difficult person.

We have all encountered difficult people in our lives. However, it is worth noticing that the difficult people might not be as “bad” as we think they are. They might have different perspectives and lifestyles from ours, or they might make misguided decisions even under good intentions. Moreover, they might be undergoing suffering themselves, and this suffering shows up in their lack of understanding towards others.

It is easier to extend our loving kindness to these difficult people once we extends the space of our heart. If you add a spoon of salt into a glass of water, the water will taste very salty. However, if add the same amount of salt into a lake, the saltiness will be washed away. Just like the capacity of the lake is able to dilute saltiness, we will be able to dilute the bitterness from interacting with difficult people by extending our empathy towards them.

Developing loving kindness for a difficult person is straight forward in meditation practice. Following the previous procedure, after we extend loving kindness to the neutral person, we pick a difficult person and think about he/she in a context where he/she is happy or have done something good to others. Then we try our best to wish them happy, safe, healthy, and be at peace. The next step of all human beings follows directly.

The topic for next week is forgiveness through loving kindness meditation.


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