The spaciousness of lovingkindness
- "Imagine taking a very small glass of water and putting into it a
teaspoon of salt. Because of the small size of the container, the
teaspoon of salt is going to have a big impact upon the water.
However, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake,
and put into it that same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the
same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the
vessel receiving it. Even when the salt remains the same, the
spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything.
"We spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or
protection; we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way.
Ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything
about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. Our true
work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt,
even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to
receive it. No situation, even an extreme one, then can mandate a
"Once I had a meditation student who had been a child in Nazi-
occupied Europe. She recounted an instance when she was around ten
years old when a German soldier held a gun to her chest -- a
situation that would readily arouse terror. Yet she related feeling
no fear at all, thinking, "You may be able to kill my body, but you
can't kill me." What a spacious reaction! It is in this way that
lovingkindness opens the vastness of mind in us, which is ultimately
our greatest protection."
~ Sharon Salzberg, "Loving-kindness: The Revolutionary Art of
Happiness," Shambhala Publications, 1995.
May this be of benefit.