65 On Caring: Dharma Complements and Extends Biology


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Alan says for this morning’s meditation practice we will return to the cultivation or unveiling of the immeasurable of Loving Kindness. He indicates that Loving Kindness derives from the more basic drive or impulse of caring. We can’t stop caring, with the variation experienced in caring being a matter of the way we care and its extent. Alan then describes “small mindedness” where the space of the mind collapses down into a small volume when we are caught in a thought or fixated on a person or an idea. When this occurs we are “between the fangs of mental afflictions” as Shantideva says, and the all-creating sovereign of the mind has been de-throned. This wandering state of the mind is never voluntary. Yet we care about what captures our attention. We are born with caring for ourselves and those we rely upon. However this biology of caring only goes so far as it keeps us in the ocean of samsara. We need to complement it with the practice of Dharma which is about expanding our sphere of caring outwards to, well – every sentient being in every circumstance everywhere! Drawing from a thread through the history of human thought, Alan quotes Hermes Trismegistus idea of ‘as above, so below’, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s book ‘The Universe In A Single Atom’, to reinforce the notion that understanding within creates understanding without – understanding the microcosm (ourselves) is also understanding the macrocosm (the universe). Alan finishes with a quote from the Buddha on this theme. The meditation is on Loving Kindness by expanding the field of caring. The meditation starts at 27:02. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available. The meditation starts at 27:02.

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