Path of Transformation» Meditation

Training in Altruism: Repaying the Kindness of Our Mothers


Tulku Migmar Tsering continues his introduction to how we can cultivate loving-kindness. Having reflected on the kindness of our mothers, we make efforts to repay the kindness of our current mothers. And having realized that all sentient beings have been our mothers in previous lives, we can also begin to extend our wish to repay their kindness as well. This contemplation takes time; we think about our mother and give rise to a genuine feeling of appreciation of her kindness. From this, we give rise to genuine loving kindness—the desire for her to have happiness. And from that, we generate genuine compassion—the desire for her to be free from suffering. And then we recall that every single sentient being has been our kind mother. Then we extend our loving kindness and compassion to first our close ones. We train in that and then gradually expand our feelings of loving kindness and compassion to strangers and then to those who we dislike. With this practice, we eventually reach the stage of equanimity.

Training in these practices, the four immeasurables, is the key way to train in unbounded love and compassion. As we progress in this way, we develop genuine altruism. We work to benefit all beings without any expectation or hope to gain anything for ourselves.

For another teaching on cultivating kindness, you may wish to view this video teaching from Phakchok Rinpoche and practice the reflection exercises contained there.


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