For the past few weeks this blog has focused on teachings and tips from the book Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You, by Lama Willa Miller. In an unplanned, happy coincidence, week four of Everyday Dharma is about Universal Love and landed on Valentine’s Day, which gives us the opportunity to look at love in a different way from the usual chocolates and hearts. You can catch up on previous weeks here. And be sure to comment below and let us know your thoughts.
“A spiritual journey takes courage and vision at the outset, but to sustain such courage and vision you need fuel: a love that is correspondingly courageous and visionary. You need a heart without borders. What ideology, a mere set of beliefs, is strong enough to drive the spiritual journey upward and onward for a lifetime? Only true feeling, directed to all humanity, is strong enough to do that. If there is an energy bar for your spiritual journey, it would be universal love. But universal love is not something you find in the future; you can find the seed for universal love by looking close to home, at your own heart and experience just as it is.” – Lama Willa Miller from Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You
Universal love can be a powerful force, as told in this post from LionsRoar.com about Arno Michaelis a former neo-Nazi turned Buddhist. Watch this quick video about how Michaelis’ life began to change after he received lovingkindness from a co-worker. He then went on to create Serve2Unite, with Pardeep Singh Kaleka, who lost his father Satwant Singh Kaleka in the 2012 Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting.
An Exercise and a Prayer: Approaching Others Anew by Lama Willa Miller:
Here are four ways of perceiving others:
Every person is your child.
Every person is your parent.
Every person is your best friend.
Every person is a sage.
May I know myself to be worthy of love. May I recognize every being as my parent, my only child, my best friend, a sage. May I learn to love like a sage: universally, boundlessly, impartially, and unconditionally.
What is your definition of love? Who are your benefactors? Please feel free to share how you are doing with Week 4 in the comments below.
Lama Willa Miller is the founder of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston and Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, New Hampshire. She is on faculty with One Earth Sangha’s EcoSattva Training and is a member of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future.