For the benefit of all beings

In my late teens and twenties, it was easy and natural for me to have the intention of whatever happens with me and whatever I do to benefit all beings. Then, during the dark night, this fell away and I found an appreciation for taking care of myself first. And now, the initial intention seems to come back, perhaps held in a slightly different way.

May this be for the benefit of all beings. This experience. This situation. What I say and do.

How is it to find this intention? When I find this intention, what changes? Is it true this intention is not already here?

Is it true life is not already this way? Is it true that what’s here is not already for the benefit of all beings? Can I know for sure it’s not already this way?

Can I find the idea of benefit outside of my own images? Do I really know what’s of benefit? Do I really know if anything is or isn’t a benefit? Can I find beings outside of my own world of images? How is it to live from this intention, while recognizing what’s more true for me? (That “benefit” is an idea in this mind, not inherent in the world, and I cannot know what’s of benefit or not. And the same goes for the word beings.)

How is it to notice that this intention is an intention for all the beings in my world to benefit. The beings in me – the different parts, voices and subpersonalities. And for the beings apparently out there in the world (and yet still images in this mind) to benefit. An intention for all beings – whether a thought says they are internal or external – to be welcomed, met with respect, thanked, loved, notice what they really are. For these beings to allow themselves to relax, and find liberation from their struggle.

When I have fear or frustration or dullness or physical pain or a sense of stuckness come up, how is it to find this intention? How is it to say may this benefit all beings? How is it to have that quiet prayer, that quiet wish?

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