The Mahayana Ideal
By constant use the idea of an â€œIâ€ attaches itself to foreign drops of seed and blood, although the thing exists not. then why should I not conceive my fellowâ€™s body as my own self? That my body is foreign to me is not hard to see. I will think of myself as a sinner, of others as oceans of virtue; I will cease to live as self, and will take as my self my fellow-creatures. We love our hands and other limbs, as members of the body; then why not love other living beings, as members of the universe? By constant use man comes to imagine that his body, which has no self-being, is a â€œself;â€ why then should he not conceive his â€œselfâ€ to lie in his fellows also? Thus in doing service to others pride, admiration, and desire of reward find no place, for thereby we satisfy the wants of our own self. Then, as thou wouldst guard thyself against suffering and sorrow, so exercise that spirit of helpfulness and tenderness towards the world….
Make thyself a spy for the service others, and whatsoever thou seest in thy bodyâ€™s work that is good for thy fellows, perform it so
that it may be conveyed to them. be thou jealous of thine own self when thou seest that it is at ease and thy fellow in distress, that it is in high estate and he is brought low, that it is at rest and he is at labour….
Edwin A. Burtt. The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha. p.140.