First Invite Love In - Introduction
How wonderful that you were moved to open this book and have come to this page. Even this one small step is an undeniably good thing, both for you and for the world because you have just acted on an interest in creating a more compassionate life.
Every single action, word, or thought that is motivated by the aspiration to be more kind, to cause less harm, and to create less suffering, sets ripples of goodness in motion that can transform your mind into a sea of tranquility and happiness. What's more, this energy, if reinforced and built upon, can lead to untold positive effects for countless others near and far in both time and place. Again, how wonderful!
Moment by moment, thought by thought, step by step we can transform our minds through time-tested compassion practices, and ultimately create a garden of delight out of any life history or current circumstance, regardless of how traumatic or difficult. There are countless examples of people from all spiritual paths, faiths, and religions who have experienced terrible hardships, or even themselves created hardships and suffering for others, who have turned their minds toward love and compassion and found peace and happiness.
My own unshakable confidence in the compassion practices I present in this book is the result of having studied with many great spiritual masters, each of whom possessed a level of kindness and peace of mind that surpassed anything I'd ever personally encountered before. The fact that so many of them had undergone phenomenally painful life experiences made their attainment of contentment, joy, and kindness even more remarkable—and it made their teaching even more compelling.
One might be tempted to imagine that there is something unusual in the makeup of people who can so effectively transform hardship into wisdom and compassion. Moreover, we might imagine whatever that special something is, we ourselves are surely lacking it! Fortunately for us, for you and for me, too, this is not at all the case. Not in the least. In fact, the opposite is true. It is in our very nature to be kind—the very nature of all of us, even you, even me; it is part of the very core of our being. No one is born without this essential core of compassion and kindness, and no clumsiness, hardship, or even intentional ill-will can destroy it. Our challenge is to simply rediscover this deep compassion and nurture it, to clear away the fog obscuring this primordial reserve of good.
And that's exactly what this book will help you to do.
And I am certain: You can succeed!
Even if you have accumulated years and years of conditioning that leads you to act contrary to this kindness, even if you have tried fruitlessly in the past to change only to see yourself fail more vividly even amid and despite your good intentions, even if you have never had so much as a glimpse of being unconditionally accepted and loved—even then you can succeed.
Today is the beginning of a new story for you. A story guaranteed to have a happy ending if only you'll give sufficient time and bring just a little patience, practice, and perseverance. After all, it takes time and practice to change the mind patterns of a lifetime. Yet the truth is that it is entirely within your power and ability—regardless of your past history or your present circumstance—to regain your birthright of a happy, peaceful, and compassionate mind. This book, the one you now hold in your hand, contains a time-tested and proven path that will lead to the happy experience of life that is your heart's desire.
So let us begin this joyful journey!