Just love

This is going to be short and sweet, hopefully like Christmas.

lucy-dogThis morning I had a simple, heart-warming experience. Visiting my brother’s family, I was walking their dog, my namesake L, aged 7 months. She had spent the last hour tugging at the leash to meet everyone she could in the streets of St. Albans, jumping up on them with muddy paws if they so much as looked at her. She loves everyone. Not everyone was loving her back.

Until we got to Verulam House, Nursing and Residential Home. My sister-in-law and I dropped in to see her mother, Christine, where we found her in a big circle of old folks under the care of James, a youngish man who clearly takes a genuine interest in each one of them and was getting them all to chat.

And L jumped straight onto the lap of an unsuspecting old man, who almost spilled his sippy cup of lukewarm coffee. Luckily, he beamed. Other wavery voices then called out, “Let her come here!” So I took her around to each person in the room, and she lit them up. We had a party! So simple — just love — yet so effective. Everyone was in a good mood. It cost nothing.

James was very pleased to see everyone enjoying themselves, and I was thinking how much he deserves to be, as does every other under-paid, over-worked Bodhisattva care worker looking after the old, the lonely, the sick, and the homeless this Christmas and every other day of the year. And these unsung heroes and heroines will get what they deserve as a result of their kindness. They’ll get happiness.HTTYL-bookcovers.png

Get rid of self-cherishing, and everything works. Don’t get rid of it and nothing works. Self-grasping and self-cherishing are believing in and cherishing a real and important self that does not exist, as explained here, so they are doomed to fail every time.

Last week, Venerable Geshe Kelsang gave everyone a free book, called How to Transform Your Life, spreading warmth and light across the globe. Much of this book shows how self-cherishing has never worked, for what do we have to show for it? Just problems and grumpiness every single day, and ending up no closer to that lasting freedom and joy we all long for. But cherishing others always solves our problems and leads to all our temporary and ultimate happiness. When we finally figure this out, and then actually bother to remember it, we will be inspired to get rid of our self cherishing — all of it — and cherish others instead. Every day will then be a party.

Contemplate these “four immeasurables” and a happy festive season is pretty much guaranteed.

And if, maybe, we think, “Hey, self-cherishing is not that bad! Look at my lovely life! I do have something to show for my selfishness!!” we can dig deeper to see that none of the good things in our life has come from self-cherishing. More despite our self-cherishing. We experience good friendships, loyalty, things going our way, happiness, resources, etc, because of our cherishing others now and in the past, not because of our self-cherishing.

And that’s it for today, folks! Wishing you and your loved ones and their loved ones and their loved ones and so on ad infinitum a very happy holiday.

Author: Luna Kadampa

Based on 40 years' experience, I write about applying meditation and modern Buddhism to improve and transform our everyday lives and societies. I try to make it accessible to everyone anywhere who wants more inner peace and profound tools to help our world, not just Buddhists. Do make comments any time and I'll write you back!

17 thoughts on “Just love”

  1. I remember going into a three-retreat on self-cherishing thinking how beneficial it would be in coping with the aspects of my life dictated by self-cherishing and coming out of it shocked that everything in my life is dictated by self-cherishing! Maybe not everything, but, so important to know, just about. Thanks for the post!

  2. Beautiful Luna, you are like your namesake dog, giving love and spreading happiness to everyone who will receive it. I hope you have a very happy New Year, full of joy and love.

  3. My mother suffered in a nursing home for about six years, bed-ridden and getting progressively more demented and blind. Just about anyone out of bed was in a wheel chair, nodding off and communicating with nobody other than the support staff and then only when needed. As a group “watching” the communal TV all lined up, they always looked to me like gravestones in a cemetery. Which they would be, much sooner than later.

    I watch my daughter’s dog when my daughter travels and would take her with me when I visited my mother. My mother loved dogs abut could no longer relate., but I took Madison with me anyhow because of the life and love and magic she brought to the home. As we walked to my mother’s room, so many of the residents would call for Madison, stretch to pet her, and even start to bark. Madison loved it and responded with jumping and pawing and licking. It was love waking the dead.

    1. As you said on Facebook, this is “heart-warming and heart-wrenching”. May all our seniors be loved this Xmas. (And/or a law passed to have dogs and cats in nursing homes for everyone who wants one.)

  4. I needed this this morning. Christmas wasn’t bad, but it never turns out how I think it will, or should and I always end up feeling down. And self cherishing is always the reason, always. Thank you, and for your uplifting, easy to read and digest blog. Now I’m off to try again to download TYL, which was my first and favourite of Geshe la’s books

  5. Thank you Luna for ‘Just Love’. Just read it (at least twice) today – 25th Dec.
    Best krizzyprezzy ever, … though i’ve never been a kp person.
    Krazee! maybe!?!!.
    l’m now off to download ‘Transformourlife’, – yet another triffik prez, – l’m feeling really spoilt this 77th Xmas, … yes it’s taken that long to find the right path (Magga), but now .. well ……!!.
    Thanks again L … & L, & of course Ven.GKG. And Tara!!.
    Great inspiring articles Luna, please keep ’em coming – really looking forward to your future ones, may they be many. Gazzzillions!!!.
    May everyone be happy at life’s everyday party!.
    Peacefulness to all … Jack.

  6. Thank you for showing simple, pure love and compassion is always the answer

  7. So very lovely! Thank you for all your wonderful and inspirational blogs thru the years. May the Buddhas send you extra blessings and I hope you have a wonderful holiday and blissful New Year.

  8. Thank you for all your posts over this last year 🙏 They have been very enlightening and so much fun to read 😊 Bright blessings to you and may 2017 bring many more blessings ❤️️🙏

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