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During Shakyamuni Buddha’s lifetime, there was a large kingdom in India called Kosala. One day, the king of Kosala said to the queen, “When I reflect upon it deeply, I have to conclude that there isn’t anyone as beloved as myself.” Then he asked her, “How about you?” When the queen thought about it, she too concluded that she was the most beloved person of all.

The two posed this question to Shakyamuni Buddha, who told them, “If you know that you are the most beloved to yourself, you should understand that other people also cherish themselves above anyone else. This is why you should never harm others.”

We see things exclusively from our own perspective most of the time, so it’s important to take a step back for a moment, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and attempt to see things from their point of view.

You will then see the same situation altogether differently. As if scales have fallen from your eyes, you’ll be able to peer into their hearts and see things for what they really are.

I think it’s fair to say that being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and look at things in a new light is the key to attaining the Buddha’s eyes of compassion.

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaiso zuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing, 1997), pp. 268-269

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