‘Love’ is a loaded word. I ‘love’ my sandwich. I ‘love’ my wife. There is selfless love and selfish love.
The love in the Buddha’s teaching has to do with compassion. He talks about universal love. He also talks about the danger of love based on attachment. We don’t have to judge these different aspects of love. We experiment starting from our own experience in life. What is this love which is not dependent on our desires, on wanting to have things our own way? Compassion is a natural empathy for ourselves and others. We want the best for others. Loving-kindness does not ask for something in return. It is the natural response of generosity.
Before going to sleep we chant the Metta Sutta. Metta is a very good remedy for a sound sleep. We can fill up our mind with loving thoughts and generate this feeling of loving-kindness towards ourselves and all beings. This has a very powerful effect. A mind suffused with loving-kindness is a conscious mind. It is an intelligent mind. We all have this kind of intelligence, so tap into it. We don’t need to think about it a lot, just feel this mind that at this moment is like a container filled with loving-kindness.
May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I be at ease.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be at ease.
This reflection by Ajahn Sundara is from the book, Paccuppanna—The Present Moment, (pdf) pp.79-80.