In our highly productive society, we are pushed to work and work and work. Play is what we do for fun. If we love our work, it becomes play. If we hate our play, it becomes work. In truth, most of what we do that we consider work is really play. Like professional athletes, we play for pay. In school the work we do is playing with information and problems and social situations. It can all seem like a lot of work.
The most important work that we can do is to create peace. That is usually what we do when we play. In play, we find outlets for the stress that builds up as we work. When our main job is to create peace we have to work all the time, always finding ways to add peace to a situation. When we are feeling peaceful then our work is play. When we are not feeling peaceful, then we have to work harder.
The main tools that we use in our work to create peace are mindfulness and compassion. When we are mindful of how we and others are feeling, we can see if there is peace or not. If there is not peace then we bring in compassion to create peace. That will create peace for ourselves and for others. We can work and play at creating peace when we are working and playing. Now get to work. Peace.
With everything being interconnected, we are all essentially just one thing. Each of us has a unique perspective on how that one thing is doing its thing. That unique perspective is what we consider to be our self. The feeling that this self is separate from everything, something apart, is a cause of suffering. When we see ourself as being separate from everything, we start to compete with everything. We might feel jealous of a flower’s beauty. When we see ourself as being connected with everything, we know that a flower’s beauty is our beauty.
When we understand that we are all one thing, then others’ beauty is our beauty and others’ suffering is our suffering. Our beauty is others’ beauty and our suffering is others’ suffering. This understanding leads to great compassion, which eases all suffering.
When it feels hard to be your little self, separate from everything, remember that separateness is just an idea. Appreciate the beauty of a flower and remember your big self. That deep peace found in deep space is in you, empty, and full of compassion.
In order to stop suffering, you must love everybody. That doesn’t mean that you have to like everybody, you just have to love them. How you express your love depends greatly on how much you like people and how much you are suffering. If you have no suffering, you have no reason not to like people. If you find yourself not liking somebody or some circumstance, then you must be suffering. Then you can remember love. Without liking a person, you can love them and see how that soothes your suffering.
To love somebody that you don’t like, connect with that person’s suffering. Feel compassion for them as you would for a screaming baby. You don’t have to hug and kiss people to demonstrate your love. You just try to find it in yourself to love them. That is enough. When you love people that you like, you can hug and kiss them if that could ease their suffering. You can hug and kiss screaming babies, or change their diapers, or maybe feed them. Most of all, you must love them. Love everybody.