The taking and giving meditation, or tonglen, reverses our usual attitude of placing ourselves first in line for happiness.
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When we learn to place others’ happiness above our own, we start to destroy the self-centeredness that is the cause of all our suffering.
Our own enlightenment is dependent on each and every sentient being. When we abandon the selfish mind and begin to cherish others as we currently do ourselves,
The self-centered mind is one of the chief obstacles to our attaining liberation and enlightenment.
The second method of generating bodhicitta, called equalizing and exchanging self and others, is discussed.
The decision we make in our Dharma practice to benefit all sentient beings is a necessary step in our development of bodhicitta.
Just as love is the thought that we want all beings to have happiness, so great compassion is the thought that we want all beings to be free from suffering.
It is possible to see all beings, whether they are friends, enemies, or strangers, as being worthy of unconditional love.
Developing love in our minds brings benefits, as outlined in Nagarjuna’s book The Precious Garland, the Eight Benefits of Love.
We can develop gratitude by meditating on the kindness of our parents.