346. At that time, the Lord said to the monks: “Once upon a time, a bamboo acrobat set up his pole, called to his pupil, and said: ‘Now, my lad, climb the pole and stand on my shoulders.’
‘Alright, Master,’ said the pupil, and he did what he was told. Then the master said: ‘Now, my lad, you protect me and I will protect you, and protected and watched by each other we will do our act, get a good fee, and come down safe and sound from the bamboo pole.’
But then, the pupil said: ‘No, no, Master! That will not do. You look after yourself, and I will look after myself. Thus watched and guarded each by himself, we will do our act, get a good fee, and come down safe and sound from the bamboo pole. That is the way to do it.’
Then the Lord said: “Just as the pupil said to the master: ‘I will protect myself’ – so should you practise the foundations of mindfulness which means at the same time: ‘I will protect others.’ By protecting oneself, one protects others. By protecting others, one protects oneself.
And how does one, by protecting oneself, protect others? It is by the repeated and frequent practice of meditation. And how does one, by protecting others, protect oneself? It is by patience, forbearance, harmlessness, love and compassion.”
Samyutta Nikaya V.168
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