In Buddhism, the teachings focus on Metta, or loving kindness, which encourages mankind to live together in peace and harmony. According to this, the basic teachings start with loving kindness and compassion. And for this, there is one type of meditation method called Metta-Bavana, or loving-kindness meditation. This form of meditation starts with spreading loving-kindness from oneself to others and even to enemies, or those who the practitioner dislikes. With regard to loving-kindness, a student recently asked me if I saw two people drowning and one was good and the other bad, which one would I try and save? I took the opportunity to tell him a story, which by itself provided him with the answer. Here is the story:
There was once a novice, who asked his meditation teacher about the Buddhist practice. “Buddhist practice focuses on helping out all living beings. Does this include a bad man, sir?” The teacher did not answer to the question immediately. He wrote ME upside down and asked the novice, “What is this?” He answered, “It is the word ME upside down, sir.” The teacher asked him again, “Can you read it?” He replied, “Yes I can, sir. It is ‘ME’.” The teacher asked him another question, “Is ME written upside down regarded as a word?” He said, “No, it is not, sir.” “If it is not a word, how come you can read it?”, the teacher asked. The novice changed his answer, “It is, sir!” The teacher asked him, “If you say it is, why is it written upside down?” Confused, the novice said nothing.
The teacher then explained to him, “Look, novice. No matter how the word ME is written, you can still read it because you know the word. The same in this instance, both the good and bad man possess original mind, which is pure and can be developed. So when you know about original mind, you can help them both out, regardless of who they are.” Then the novice understood that helping is to help. It should be done without forming either opinion, or making judgment.
From the story, it should be clear that when we put loving kindness into practice, we must do it without forming any opinion, or having any judgment about it. This is pure loving kindness.