The basic Buddhist pointer of living for the benefit of all beings has a great deal of different effects.
It places my life in a larger context. It reminds me that I am a part of this world, of this larger social and ecological whole. It is not all about me.
It helps me see that my life not only influences myself but also everyone around me and rippling out from there in ways I cannot know.
It brings a shift from working against situations (complaining, resistance, victim role, making someone wrong, sense of drama) to working with situations (receptivity, open heart, sense of ease and simplicity, practical solution focus).
It invites in a sincere well-wishing for all of me and the larger whole. (If there is well-wishing here, it meets whatever happens in this human self and the wider world.)
It helps me see that just a small shift here, even just in intention, is a shift in the world as a whole. It brings about a shift in how I relate to myself and the wider world, and that benefits myself and those around me, and ripples out from there. It helps me appreciate the value and effect of small moves.
It may look like a noble aim, but it is really just a very practical and simple tool. It makes my life much simpler and easier in daily life.
In practical terms, it is a simple prayer or a setting of intention: May this practice benefit all beings. May whatever I am doing benefit all beings. May this life benefit all beings.
My body was not doing so well this morning, and I shifted into resistance for a while. The usual things happened, such as a sense of separation, being a victim, lack of receptivity, working against the situation rather than with it, and so on.
Then I remembered the basic Buddhist aim of practicing – and living – for the benefit of all beings. May whatever I am doing benefit all beings.
It brought a shift out of the victim role and out of resistance, and into receptivity and working with the situation.
- shift out of victim role, see that what I am doing has an effect beyond myself, I am not only doing it for myself
- aim for practice, to benefit all beings
- aim for whatever I am doing, to benefit all beings
- even in small ways, a little shift here is enough (or just the intention, an aim, direction)