Developing a Capacity of Heart

Ajahn Abhinando

Developing a Capacity of Heart

Maybe one day we will succeed in wishing someone we don’t like well. It’s not about liking where we disliked, or pretending to like, but about seeing whether we can develop a capacity of heart, of kindness that is independent of the experiences we encounter.

That needs a gradual training of the heart. And a very strong empowerment comes with it, because it means that our heart becomes more independent from other people. Others are less capable of influencing our moods or states of mind, because we develop our own inner resource for feelings of wellbeing and kindness towards ourselves and others.

The same applies to any experience we might dislike and from which we therefore habitually shrink. Our increased capacity for kindness might give us the extra space to allow ourselves to stay more open and be more willing to accept unpleasant feelings.

That gives us a ground on which to stand, from which we can then investigate our experience. It might give us the strength to look at people in different ways, see different aspects of them which may be clouded over or blocked out if we are just reacting to our perception or feeling that they are being unpleasant and unkind to us.

This reflection by Ajahn Abhinando is from the booklet, Kindness, (pdf) p.4.