The 2009 story “A More Complete Attention” by Sharon Salzberg was chosen for 20 Years, 20 Teachings: The Tricycle 20th Anniversary E-book—free for all Tricycle Community Supporting and Sustaining Members—because it is both a powerful practice piece and it contains stories that touch us on an emotional level. At one point, Salzberg describes the rules for being kind at an elementary school in the Washington, DC area. They were:
• Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
• Play fair.
• Respect everyone—other students and all staff.
• Everyone can play.
• Help others when they need help.
• Don’t hurt others on the inside or the outside.
• Honor all of the pillars of ethics.
You may have heard the folk wisdom, or perhaps it’s a cliche, that the three most powerful words in English are “Help me please.” Sharon’s meditation on these rules explores the idea that kindness is found naturally within us, and that only by including others, by truly paying attention to them, can we fully engage with the world.
Read “A More Complete Attention,” and to read the rest of the e-book, become a Tricycle Community Supporting or Sustaining Member. Already a Member? Get the book here.
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.