Ram Dass recalls how difficult he found it to follow his spiritual teacher's advice that he "love everyone." He decided to work on it by focusing his attention daily on Casper Weinberger, then U.S. Secretary of Defense. This, we can assure you, is a very difficult and powerful practice. Choose your own "Casper."

"There was a time when my aggravation with the system focused on Caspar Weinberger, secretary of defense. I'm sure he was no worse than many others, but there was something about his cold arrogance and apparent lack of wisdom that infuriated me. So I got a picture of Caspar and placed it on my puja (prayer) table with all my spiritual heroes. Then, each morning when I lit my incense and honored the beings represented on the puja table, I'd feel waves of love and appreciation toward my guru, Buddha, Christ, Anandamayi Ma, Ramana Maharshi, and Hanuman. I'd wish them each good morning with such tenderness. Then I'd come to Caspar's picture, and I'd feel my heart constrict, and I'd hear the coldness in my voice as I said, ‘Good morning, Caspar.’ Each morning I'd see what a long way I still had to go.

"But wasn't Caspar just another face of God? Couldn't I oppose his actions and still keep my heart open to him? Wouldn't it be harder for him to become free from the role he was obviously trapped in if I, with my mind, just kept reinforcing the traps by identifying him with his acts? . . .

"The Indian poet Kabir said . . . "Do what you do to another person, but never put them out of your heart." It's a tall order. But what else is there to do? Sometimes there is really nothing to do. We can only work on ourselves to keep another person in our heart: to be there, open, waiting, loving, spacious, nonjudging, appreciating, . . . and listening."

Mirabai Bush, Ram Dass in Compassion in Action