Of Loving-Kindness To Our Tiny Friends

(Reflections From A Retreat In The Wild)


The Buddha says in the Surangama Sutra (楞严经),
‘Pure Bhikṣus [monastics] and all Bodhisattvas,
at diverging roads walking,
do not step on living grass,
moreover with their hands pluck them.’

How very touching!
To be reminded not to forget…
to respect even a blade of grass,
to love the tiny beings below,
to protect their hidden homes,
to take no one for granted at all.


Maybe the flies have something to say,
in a language you do not understand,
as they buzz near your ears in an excited dance,
as they kiss your cheeks.
For some reason they come near.
For some reason they do not fear.

Pray try to hear what they say.
Give them some time.
Don’t just shoo them away.
Distant relatives reunited from a previous life.
‘Amituofo!’ Wish them well.
May they be well and happy.


What does it mean,
when you circumambulate a Bodhi Tree
in ‘mindfulness’ of wishing all beings to be well and happy,
when you are not mindful of the ants trampled beneath your feet,
as you go round and round the tree,
turning the wheel of life and death?

What sense does it make,
when you revere the Bodhi Tree
and forget to revere the many tiny Buddhas-to-be,
who got in ‘your’ way,
as you dodge them with impatience instead of compassion,
when they are companions on your path to Buddhahood?


Be careful of the fine almost invisible web
that you bump into in the morning.
It might have been spun last night.
Did it get in your way, or you in its way?
Even if it irritates you, please be kind,
for it is a little spider’s lifeline.

If we can learn to be kind
even to our tiniest friends,
who will we not be kind to,
over more time,
in good time.
for all time?

May All Beings Be At Ease

The Buddha says in the Metta Sutta (慈心经),
‘May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
the great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
the seen and the unseen
those living near and far away,
those born and to-be-born,
may all beings be at ease!’

May all beings be ever at ease,
as they put one another at greater ease.
Easy now, easy, easy…
Give ease, ease, ease…

Related Article:
How The Buddha Eventually Advocated Veganism
(The Buddha’s Admonition Against Killing & Eating Of Sentient Beings)

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