For me, loving kindness is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. And in my practice, often it may seem difficult to take my medicine. The medicine of my practice being bhavana (virtue, meditation, wisdom).
Now while I do not believe in taking drugs, this type of medication is completely safe with no negative side effects. In fact, long-term side effects are astonishingly positive.
Bhante Sujatha’s teachings at the Blue Lotus Temple truly offer a medicine bag full of remedies for the common life. And depending on your symptoms, with the accumulation of these antidotes, I can always find an antidote to the dissatisfaction or suffering that is occurring at that moment.
One of the most potent medicines I have gotten from his teachings is the ABC pill – Accept, Be mindful, and Cultivate.
I have found that this cures almost any ill that arises in my mind.
Accepting things as they are, without clinging or desire. Being mindful of my thoughts, words and actions, while not creating stories in my mind. And lastly, cultivating loving kindness with full intention.
Now I will admit that sometimes I find it difficult to take this medicine. But I do have other “pills” in my bag to draw upon. Another one is Bhante’s teaching of breathing in lovingly, breathing out lovingly. This is a very small pill and easy to swallow. It brings me instantly to the present moment of the breath, and I have nothing to do but breathe in and out with love. Love towards the self and love towards others. One breath at a time.
A great deal of the medicine I take would not be cultivated were it not for meditation. And yes, sometimes I even make excuses to not take that medicine. But this is really the one that has so many wonderful long-term benefits. And it is in this part of my practice that all other teachings gain strength and nourishment.
I know that many of you may find reasons not to meditate, but I lovingly encourage you to do this for yourself. Use that spoonful of sugar, loving kindness towards the self, to help the medicine go down. Just sit down on the cushion today, and be well, happy and peaceful.