In Zen practice, you start with meditation, with being present, with your breath.

Then you start to look into the nature of reality (see emptiness).

Then you start to open to helping all beings.

This is the ultimate practice. To turn away from yourself and your ego, and to turn towards others. Towards serving them, trying to help, trying to alleviate their suffering.

You don’t have to take on the mission of helping all beings. But it’s a powerful practice to consider all beings, to feel your connection to all of them, to feel how they’ve all supported you (directly or indirectly) to get you to this present moment. Feel the hearts and love and suffering of all beings.

This can be a difficult practice when you start, so to start with, consider one other being. Someone you care about. Feel their heart and love and suffering. Wish for their suffering to end. Then do this for other people you care about.

It’s powerful, and it gets us out of our focus on self-concern.