midwestbuddha: (interdependant)
It's so easy, isn't it, to get caught up in our own small worlds, the drama, the rush and flow of life? In fact, it seems as if some people are constantly in crisis. But once in awhile a little piece of someone else's life comes to our attention (as this video did to mine), that gives us that feeling of 'I'm so glad that didn't happen to me'...



As it happens, Amy Purdy used her illness to expand her world, not to make it smaller. She used it to see and touch and help others in similar situations. Most of us, though, won't have such a dramatic opportunity to be shaken out of our selfishness. We need to find ways to remind ourselves that our world is bigger than just what's happening with us.

I've found that it helps to spend some time in meditation sending metta in larger and larger circles beginning with yourself, something like this:

May I be well, happy and peaceful. May I be safe. May I be free from difficulty and have patience, courage and understanding.

Choose someone you admire (for me, this is the Dalai Lama), and send metta to them in this way:

May they be well, happy and peaceful. May they be safe. May they be free from difficulty and have patience, courage and understanding.

Choose a friend, and send metta to them in this way:

May they be well, happy and peaceful. May they be safe. May they be free from difficulty and have patience, courage and understanding.

Choose a neutral person (someone you have no particular feeling about one way or another), and send metta to them in this way:

May they be well, happy and peaceful. May they be safe. May they be free from difficulty and have patience, courage and understanding.

Choose someone who is difficult or an enemy and send metta to them in this way:

May they be well, happy and peaceful. May they be safe. May they be free from difficulty and have patience, courage and understanding.

You can then expand your awareness by sending metta in the same way to the people on your street, in your town, in your state, your country, other countries and then the rest of the world.

Often, I find that after this meditation my personal situation is better in perspective--I see how small it is in the scheme of things. It's so tempting to get caught up in our own little world and imagine that's all there is. When we can see how small things really are, just with us, we can let go of troubling matters and not let them control us.

The other side of that coin is that when we move out of our own tiny, inner worlds we find that there are people out there that need us--our compassion, our wisdom, our actual, physical help. We may not all consider ourselves as courageous and heroic as Amy Purdy, but to someone who needs us--we are.

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midwestbuddha

June 2012

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