Can we actually be of benefit to others or is it strictly the case that we are all alone in this and responsible for our own happiness? I truly believe that we can benefit other beings if we do it in a way that works. To me the way that works is based on honesty, sincerity, kindness, stability and wisdom. There are quite a few misconceptions about what it actually takes to be kind to ourselves and others. Therefore in this article I will write about how our ability to love ourselves unconditionally has an amazing impact on the world we all share.
If you watch the way your mind and your emotions dance throughout the days, weeks, months and years you will see that there is a whole lot of stuff going on inside. And if we take a really good look we will likely find that we tend to relate to our internal universe through either rejection, denial or desire. If our experience feels good we want to keep it, increase it enhance it and stretch it – that’s desire. We want more. If it feels unpleasant, we want to get rid of it. We often suppress or express unwanted emotions or thoughts. We might also go into denial and our various positive or negative tendencies could come out in the form of projections or otherwise.
I would suggest to learn how to be kind and quiet with ourselves. The art of honestly being with ourselves is what can lead to a gradual resolution of everything that obscures our light. This works by showing us clearly how and where we are hurting ourselves. This are tendencies that we won’t be able to see if we are continuously distracted. Therefore we should create space and time for ourselves to heal and reintegrate what has been abandoned, denied or suppressed. Meditation provides you with the basic space in which a gradual dissolution of pain can actually happen. If we use Meditation as a form to escape ourselves or a type of drug that’s supposed to give us another high we will eventually grow disenchanted with the practice as the results we hope for don’t show.
The practice of Meditation requires a great deal of honesty. It’s not about trying to create anything special, divine or pure. It’s about seeing how we create pain for ourselves unnecessarily. If we can really see this with clarity, these habits collapse and dissolve. They come to an end as soon as we make friends with the way it actually is. Once these habits disintegrate, they make way for the light which they have obscured up to that point. Pain doesn’t go away if we are fighting it. Fighting it feeds the pain and makes it bigger. But if you have the heart to make friends with your pain you will find that there’s light at the other side of it. Seeing the light requires us to walk towards and through the pain with unshakable love and acceptance of its truth.
We have to learn to open our heart gradually. It will show you where it hurts, where it needs our awareness and our kindness. If your heart opens and shows you where it hurts, it is important that we look at it with the eyes of someone who cares, who has warmth and who understands: “Yes, that’s where it hurts and the pain is like this. Dear pain, I see you. I am completely open to you and I will stay by your side with warmth and give you space – all the space you ever need.” We can even talk with our pain in a kind way. As if we were talking to an old friend who is going through a hard time. Soon this will show us that we are bigger than any pain because we can be kind to whatever manifests within us.
I described the road to become a beneficial friend to ourselves above. It’s a direct and very honest route based on seeing and accepting truth. It leads to an immediate as well as a gradual expansion of happiness here and now. It’s like freeing ourselves, breaking out of a tight prison that has become so normal that we didn’t notice it at all. Only when we sit down, become quiet and look deeply will we see clearly. Only those who can look clearly and make friends with truth consistently and fully will start to have a powerful impact on the world surrounding them. We could literally say that we free the world from our own self-created and self-inflicted misery.
Imagine: “Where I am, that’s where peace and kindness reside.” Wherever we go, that’s where problems could turn into solutions. Not necessarily for those around us – but within ourselves for sure. We can’t go around and force people to love themselves, to be kind and happy. We can only ever do our own part, be kind and awake. Notice that it is impossible to change the world if we don’t change ourselves. If we haven’t truly come to terms with ourselves, there’s still work to do. And such work really can transform the world around ourselves.
When it comes to others, we can see them as friends who are all trying to be happy. Nobody wants to suffer or exist in pain. Just like myself, all beings desire happiness and ease. And just like myself everybody else is often looking for it in the only place where it can never be found – outside and elsewhere. Those who make the choice to look within consistently become like a lighthouse. Consequentially those who are really looking for light can find it there.
Feel free to leave some good comments (Everybody can benefit from your skillful contributions!) I will simply delete Self-promotion (e.g. “I love your article. Please check this link to my own site.”). I might post your links if they are truly relevant and contribute to the readers experience though. We are open for meaningful discussions and hope that this article serves as an inspiration for you.
Tobi has been studying and practicing meditation since 2002. He stayed 7 years in a Tibetan Buddhist Temple and currently lives in Thailand where he founded the Dharana Meditation and Retreat Center in Phuket with his wife Parn. In Thailand he continued his practice and found a spiritual home within local Theravada Buddhism. Tobi is known for an open and relaxed teaching style focusing mainly on a practical application of mindfulness meditation within a modern society. The direct experience of what the practical teachings point to is of foremost importance to him.