Sharon encouraged us to seek a loving kindness phrase that is meaningful to each of us. The phrases she presented are all useful but I do like the idea of exploring others.
A couple of days a friend posted a story on Facebook. The story involves a traveler who observes a father and daughter exchange the blessing, “May you have enough.” In a subsequent discussion with the father the traveler learns what the phrase means to the man and his daughter.
In trying on this phrase I am seeing another way to approach our search for loving kindness, compassion and relief of suffering.
May you have enough food to sustain and nourish your body. May you have enough shelter to protect you. May you have enough companionship to strengthen your heart. May you have enough contact with new ideas to stimulate your mind. May you have enough connection with the good in the world to find joy.
The concept of enough suggests to me a way to keep oneself grounded. To not strive greedily.
The story also opened up what it is that we might wish for ourselves and maybe others. Working with the concept that it is not only our sense of joy but our connection with suffering that opens us to the potential of compassion there may be another series of “enough” to contemplate. In my understanding of the story of the Buddha he only became capable of becoming fully compassionate after he encountered and lived in the suffering of others and of himself.
In the spirit of recognizing that we all experience loss and pain and it is our reaction to those universal experiences that determines how much we suffer do the following phrases make sense. Or do they sound cruel and without compassion.
May you experience enough pain to feel compassion for yourself and others. May you experience enough fear to understand the darkness. May you experience enough loss to cherish what you have.
I thank the universe
everything it has taken
and giving to me
everything it is giving
Balance by Rupi Kaur