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The spaciousness of lovingkindness

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  • Sharon
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17, 2003
      "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
      particular reaction.

      "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.
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