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By Michael Doko Hatchett

Nadia asked me to write something on self-love...What is self-love? How do we 'do' self-love? This is how: Stop your inner chattering, take a deep breath and pray this from the bottom of your heart...

"May all beings be well and happy.

May all beings be well and happy.

May all beings be well and happy.

May the hungry find bread, the homeless find shelter,

the thirsty find water, the poor be set free,

find a wonderful happiness and all that they need.

May the frightened cease to be afraid,

those bound be released,

the lonely find friends.

May those weakened with sorrow find joy.

May the forlorn find new hope,

and the voiceless be given a voice.

May those who don't understand, come to understanding,

and those who look only at the surface, find eyes to see the deep.

Those who have awakened goodwill for others,

may their goodwill not wain,

but go on increasing forever and ever, further and further,

touching every atom in vast and endless space"

Self-love is a big, vague term. Too vague I feel. Trying to 'love ourselves' is an abstract idea directed toward an abstract goal. Forget such self-focused efforts, they are usually fueled by delusion anyway. Forget everything for just one moment and just pay attention to the loving, inclusive, and peaceful mind you can bring to this short single moment right here.

Life is nothing but these short single moments you know!

For the length of one out-breath, can you detach from wanting something, even self-love? Can you, for the length of one out-breath, set aside what you feel is a permanently impoverished self, lacking this, lacking that, and instead think of how others could really do with your non-judgement, your kindness, your compassion, and your non-rejection of their situations and suffering.

A prayer such as this helps us cultivate a true friend; a mind detached from greed, hatred and our endless declarations and opinions. If you want self-love, if you want to understand self-love, pray this prayer. If you want peace, be peace. 'All beings', they live inside you.

May all beings be well and happy.  

Take care,

Doko x


Cultivating Self-Love

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