If you’ve been around meditation for a while you know that one result (hopefully) is a greater degree of love and compassion in your life. Who doesn’t want to experience these two wonderfully transforming emotions? The question is, living in the world in which we live, can anyone achieve this state or is the experience reserved only for Buddhists who live in an isolated part of the world?
Recently, Dr. Barry Kerzin, a Buddhist monk, teacher and personal physician to the Dalai Lama gave a talk at the University of Central Florida. The details are covered in this recent Orlando Sentinel post from Edward Duryea.
According to Kerzin, a warm heart is what is needed to cultivate love and compassion. The talk, which was directed to everyone and not just Buddhists, focused on teaching how to develop this state first through self-cultivation and then through meditation.
The methods to avoid conflict proposed by Kerzin were unconventional.
The first method traces back to seventh century Indian author Shantideva. Shatideva simply preached diversion of anger and analysis of the situation. The example Kerzin provided, is if someone hits you with a stick. He suggested for us to think, “The person didn’t hit me, the stick did.” He then asked the audience to take it further, “The hand held the stick and the arm held the hand.” The purpose is to feel that at the end of this evaluation, being upset over the action is no longer worth it and is seen as almost comical.
Read more about Kerzin’s talk on using meditation to cultivate love and compassion here.