Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ February 2016

Page 22

Handle Love with Kid Gloves by Sherry Petro-Surdel


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West Michigan Edition

ebruary is the month that draws our need a special balm of sensitivity, the attention to love. While most of that individual will respond with the love of attention revolves around romantic or kid gloves. human love, it is not absurd to ques So is there anything greater or tion if there is something beyond love more precious than love? The story of - something greater than love. Could it an interaction that Buddha was said to be that love is complete and uncondihave had with a young devotee could tional? In fact, in the Christian writings, speak to this question; “Master, would 1st Corinthians 13:13 reads, “And now it be true that the cultivation of loving these three remain: faith, hope, love. kindness and compassion is part of our But the greatest of these is love.” practice”, asked the student. Because love Buddha reBeing listened to is so close to plied “No! It would is the greatest, it is precious being loved that most people not be true to say and should be that the cultivation cannot tell the difference. handled with “kid of loving kindness ~David Augsberg gloves”. Handling and compassion is something with kid part of our practice.” gloves, metaphorically, means to treat The young student looked puzzled. with extreme kindness and gentleness Buddha then said, “It would be true to and with a special sensitivity. Literally, say that the cultivation of loving kindit can mean that one does not want ness and compassion is all, not part of to leave any smudges as one handles our practice.” precious objects. As Thich Nhat Hana said in Teach Handling love with kid gloves ings on Love, “From the teachings of infers that the individual is treating his/ Buddha, when your mind is filled with her ability to love with an awareness love, send it in one direction, then a of the precious gift of love, choosing to second, third and fourth, then above not leave any smudges made from the and below. Identify with everything imprints of resentment or a lack of com- without hatred, resentment, anger or passion upon his/her heart. It means enmity. This mind of love is very wide. that even when situations come that It grows unmeasurably and eventually is