"All beings want to be happy, may they be happy."Next call to mind a person who has helped you in the past. Someone who has done you a kindness when you needed it. The repeat the saying:
"All beings want to be happy, May they be happy."Repeat the practice in this way, bringing up someone who's having a tough time, and see a time where maybe they have helped someone else. Call to mind someone you have had direct conflict with and try to see a way in which they really are a good person and not the bad person you have built a story around. After each person comes to mind, repeat that phrase.
"All beings want to be happy, may they be happy."The point of this method (as I see it) is to glimpse that there might be more to things than we typically see and to learn to water the good seeds instead of the bad. The habitual practice of labeling these things as "bad" has the effect of watering the bad seeds in us. This practice helps us begin to break that habit and use that "water" to grow the good seeds in our "Store Consciousness".
Human nature, or more accurately the human ego, is such that people tend to think everything is black and white, that all people are either good or bad. We say to ourselves "He did me wrong, so he's a jerk" but really there's more to that person than that one act. He might have been a jerk to you, but his kids might think he's a great father. Or perhaps he treats his best friend very well, and you just aren't that friend. Maybe that family member who has mistreated your family is extremely kind and helpful to some other family.
I'm always reminded, when talking about this sort of thing, of the old 80's Boston based Funk-Metal band Extreme. They put out a concept album called Three Sides To Every Story. There were three distinct styles on each of the "Sides" of the record titled "Yours", "Mine" and "Truth". People are not actually all "Bad" or "Good". The reason I like that so much is that it points to the fact that "Yours" is how your mind sees things. "Mine" is how my mind sees things. But the truth...well, that lies somewhere between the other two and is really a combination of them both and so much more. This touches on the Store Consciousness I spoke of yesterday. We each have good seeds and bad seeds, and the ones that grow are the ones that we water.
A friend of mine recently told me she couldn't meditate because her mind won't still. I responded that her mind has been practicing wandering for hundreds of thousands of hours, non-stop. It's only practiced letting go for a couple of dozen. It takes time, and it takes effort. And it takes watering the good seeds. Seeing the good.