This is part 36 of my series on Lojong; a Buddhist mind training technique
With this slogan we are asked to examine our ulterior motives for the things we do. Acting with a twist is to act in a way that advances our own motives while trying to seem as if we are benevolent. When we keep track of our acts of loving kindness or look to ensure others are seeing our kind acts, we are really only concerned with ourselves: It’s all about me. The acts of loving kindness become tools for our own development so that we can determine how we have progressed on our spiritual path. Those who are the recipients of our kind acts become props.
If we are honest with ourselves in what we are getting out of loving kindness and compassion, then we start to move away from the ulterior motives and begin to act simply from concern for others. When we try to hide our gain or downplay it, we can’t begin to see the nature of our ego. If we are unable to see this in ourselves we can’t make change.
Observe where your motives lie without judgement of yourself. Shining a light on the motives will, in time, diminish them.