The truth is that until we love cancer, we can’t love God. It doesn’t matter what symbols we use—poverty, loneliness, loss—it’s the concepts of good and bad that we attach to them that make us suffer.
– Byron Katie
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
– Matthew 5:43-44
Anything thoughts tell me is wrong, bad, not God, becomes an enemy for me, in my mind, when those thoughts are taken as true.
It’s uncomfortable, painful, it’s how I create suffering for myself.
So what can I do? Here are a few approaches I find interesting and helpful: Prayer for he/she/it, ho’o, tonglen, The Work, sense field explorations, the Big Mind Process, Headless experiments, and more. And all are supported by inviting in a more stable attention, perhaps by bringing attention to the breath, or through body-centered practices such as yoga, tai chi, chi gong, or Breema.
All of this helps me shift into finding genuine love for he/she/it, and it may even help me notice it’s already love. It never was anything but love.
And I do it for my own sake. It’s a relief. I function from more clarity. I function from more kindness. There is a sense of coming home.
Note: When Jesus said pray for your enemies, he didn’t mean only people but also situations and experiences we make into enemies in our own mind. Also, I imagine he meant it as a question for us. How is it to pray for my enemies? What happens? And I also see I do it for my own sake, not to please anyone or for any benefits in the future.
– pray for your enemies
– anything I tell myself is wrong, bad, not god, becomes an enemy for me, in my mind
– pray for he/she/it, ho’o, tonglen, inquiry
– all helps shift into love for it, and recognize it as love
A situation takes a certain turn, an experience is here, and I tell myself it’s wrong.
How is it to pray for he/she/it? What happens when I do ho’o on it? Tonglen?
In what way is it wrong? What are my complaints about it? When I take each of these stories to inquiry, what do I find? Is it true? Can I be certain it’s true? What happens when I hold onto the thought as true? How would it be without the thought? Can I find simple, genuine, real examples of the turnarounds?