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There are many different methods mentioned by various traditions (to aid in the realization of Buddha Nature). While we practice or implement these techniques, we must have a strong virtuous power. Backing the virtuous power is good merit; without this, it is rather difficult to develop satisfactorily. Therefore, strong merit is highly necessary. If we practice genuine compassion, love and kindness we will accumulate great merit. Generally, all the world's major religions emphasize love and kindness.

In Buddhism, particularly, there are many explanations on how to develop kindness and compassion. I want to mention my usual practice. Please listen, concentrate and think.

Visualize and think of yourself as a third person. On your right hand, imagine your own self as a selfish being, having very self-centered motivation, appearing stupid and narrow-minded. On your left hand, imagine a group of poor, needy, helpless people, like the Cambodian refugees. Now you have to judge, judiciously, without any partiality. If you are a reasonable person, a logical, wise and kind individual, will you join the right side or the left side? Think of one single selfish being, or many, good, poor people. We always think of ourselves, I-I-I. But if we think properly, quietly, wisely, then naturally our hearts will go to the poor and needy. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, these people are poor and needy. Secondly, they compose a majority, there is a big difference in numbers. Both sides have the right to gain happiness. Both have the right to get rid of suffering. One being has the right to be happy. With many beings, the need becomes more urgent, more important. Our hearts will naturally go to them. What do you think?


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