Kindness Begins at Home

After a visit to the Birmingham Buddhist Centre in Moseley, I started mulling over the power of Metta. Metta is a term used in Buddhism for loving kindness.  I’ve long held the opinion that the application of the precepts starts at home, the point that was reiterated to us last night was that this is true of Metta. This may sound selfish, but we were asked if you can’t show loving kindness to yourself, how can you truly show it to others? At what point does the display of Metta become a quest for acceptance and approval?

I think that’s a very strong point and overlooking this can risk undermining the whole of your Dharma practise. But I also think that this idea of Metta to the self can be taken further. We so often see a diet or abstention from certain foods or drinks as an imposition, exercise risks becoming a chore.  But if we see these things in the terms of Metta then we can change the terms of the whole train of thought. So exercise becomes the chance to perform an act of Metta for ourselves. That act of abstinence, picking a Tuna salad rather than something less healthy.  This isn’t an act of self denial, it’s an act of loving kindness towards yourself.

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