December 11 : Starting Our Day

How do we cultivate a kind heart? It is not enough to tell ourselves that we should be nice, because telling ourselves what we should or should not be, feel or do does not make us become that way. Filling ourselves with “shoulds” often just makes us feel guilty because we are never what we think we should be. We need to know how to transform our minds. In other words, we must realise the disadvantages of being self-centred. We must truly want to develop a kind heart, not just keep thinking that we should develop a kind heart.

In the morning, when we first wake up, before getting out of bed, before thinking about what we will eat for breakfast or which unpleasant person we will see at the office, we can start the day by thinking, “Today, as much as possible I will not harm anybody. Today, as much as possible I will be of service and benefit to others. Today, I will do all actions so that I will become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

Setting a positive motivation first thing in the morning is extremely beneficial. When we wake up, our mind is subtle and delicate. If we set a strong positive motivation at this time, there is a greater chance of it influencing us throughout the day. After generating our positive motivation, we get out of bed, wash, have a cup of tea, and then meditate, recite prayers, or read a Dharma book. By starting the day in this way, we will get in touch with ourselves and become our own friend by treasuring and reinforcing our good qualities.

“365 Gems of Wisdom” e-book is out now!