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MN 21 From… Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw—Painting the Sky

…Suppose a person was to come along with dye such as red lac, turmeric, indigo, or rose madder, and say, ‘I shall draw pictures on the sky, making pictures appear there.

What do you think, mendicants? Could that person draw pictures on the sky?”

“No, sir. Why is that? Because the sky is formless and invisible. It’s not easy to draw pictures there. That person will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, there are these five ways in which others might criticize you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, beneficial or harmful, from a heart of love or from secret hate. When others criticize you, they may do so in any of these ways. If that happens, you should train like this: ‘Our minds will remain unaffected. We will blurt out no bad words. We will remain full of compassion, with a heart of love and no secret hate. We will meditate spreading a heart of love to that person. And with them as a basis, we will meditate spreading a heart like the earth to everyone in the world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’ That’s how you should train.…

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