Today was an usual day. It began at 6am creating a “Love” sign to take with me to public places as part of a new lovingkindness practice.
I figured why not put meditation into action? So for today I held a Love Sign in public places. Why “Love?” Well, it doesn’t require anything of the seer, it can be a noun or a verb, and more importantly it’s something that’s good for me to practice.
Throughout the day I sat in three different places: La Perouse Bay Nature Reserve, on a bench in front of the local swimming pool, and at the Maui Mall shopping plaza. Within minutes of holding the Love Sign it received lots of smiles and happy eyes. Also, a local young dad flashed me a shaka, a tattooed girl blaring music and angrily shouting stopped to smile, a very old woman gave me $5, and another woman gave me candy. Additionally, I made friends with a homeless (x16 years) Gulf war combat veteran, Dann, who was picking up cans for recycling. In our conversation he was sane, sober, and truly wise. I asked Dann, “If you had a sign to hold, what would it be?” He thought for awhile and then said “Respect.” He explained that as a homeless person he is judged by others, and people don’t take the time to see or respect him for who he is. If I hadn’t been holding the Love Sign, I too would have been one of those people who judged him and didn’t take the time to see him.
The best thing about holding the Love Sign is it forces me to embody love. It’s impossible to judge others when I am holding the Love Sign, and impossible to be sad or angry. Good practice I figure. Plus it’s always humbling to sit in public holding a sign.
Last but not least, when I stopped holding the Love Sign I felt I was still holding it in my heart. And when I imagine I am always holding the Love Sign it has wonderful effects. Everyone becomes family.