love is the answer, love is the training…

“Hell is not punishment, it’s training.”
~ Suzuki Roshi

i love this quote and it also challenges me. when things are going wrong, when it feels like the world is caving in, when it is hot and heavy, i’m more likely to whine and feel bad for myself. how about you?

but is whining and feeling bad for oneself, responding with love?

in Buddhist cosmology, the remedy or response to the Hell Realm is to practice Lovingkindness. for others and for ourselves. we include ourselves in Lovingkindness practice. the practice is one of opening the heart and reorienting the mind. we can learn to hold all that is hellish with tenderness, with gentleness, with kindness, with warmth. the ground is then prepared, so that we can respond to circumstances in a way that is motivated from genuine self-care and care for others, in a way that is loving and compassionate.
i think back to my Christian upbringing, where i was taught that after his crucifixion, prior to his resurrection, Jesus descended into hell and set the captives free. how could he have done this in any other way, but love?
love is always the answer. love is the training. opening our hearts, reorienting our minds, ending harm and destruction, bringing healing to a world in need.

we won’t just need this in the times ahead, we need this now.
this is the path, this is the practice. we respond to this world, by saying:
“i am here to love.”



*if you like this art, you can have it as a print or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website ( 👍🏻🙏🏻

#hell #love #metta #maitri #Lovingkindness #OpenHeart #training #practice #path #EngagedBuddhism #Buddhism #Zen #calligraphy #art #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

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