Who is our friend? Who is our enemy?

In meditation, imagine that in front of you are three persons—an enemy, a friend, and a neutral person. At that time, in our minds we have (1) a sense of closeness for one of them, thinking, “This is my friend”; (2) a sense of dislike even when imagining the enemy; and (3) a sense of ignoring the neutral person. Now, we have to think about the reasons why we generate these feelings—the reasons being that temporarily one of them helped us whereas the other temporarily harmed us, and the third did neither. However, when we think in terms of the long course of beginningless rebirth, none of us could decide that someone who has helped or harmed us in this life has been doing so for all lifetimes.

When you contemplate this way, eventually you arrive at a point where a strong generation of desire or hatred appears to you to be just senseless. Gradually, such a bias weakens, and you decide that one-sided classification of persons as friends and enemies has been a mistake. ~  His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace, page 166
page 166.

Inner Nature

Without understanding how your inner nature evolves, how can you possibly discover eternal happiness? Where is eternal happiness? It’s not in the sky or in the jungle; you won’t find it in the air or under the ground. Everlasting happiness is within you, within your psyche, your consciousness, your mind. That’s why it’s important that you investigate the nature of your own mind. ~ Lama Thubten Yeshe

Use Skillful Means

English: Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, Brisban...

English: Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, Brisbane Qld Au. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you meet miserable conditions, it is extremely important to use skillful means. In other words, there is a meditation to mix with whatever suffering you experience. When you apply the teachings in this way, all sufferings are mixed with virtue. All experiences of suffering become virtue. ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche

We have the power

Cover of "Pointing Out the Dharmakaya"

Cover of Pointing Out the Dharmakaya

Is it possible to abandon the suffering of samsara and pass beyond the suffering of samsara? If the world were created by a god, then we would be helpless. It would not be within our power to do much about our own situation and achieve real happiness. However, some deity has not created the world, so we have the power to do something about our situation. That is because the situation we are in is the fruition of our own actions; our actions are a cause that has created this particular effect. Therefore, it is within our power to abandon the causes of suffering.

For instance, we hear about the great suffering that beings have to undergo in the lower realms and we feel frightened by that and do not want to have to experience that kind of suffering. So, is it within our power to prevent the experience of this kind of suffering? Yes, it is because ill deeds and non-virtuous activities are the causes of being born in a lower realm. And it is within our power not to engage in such ill deeds. In that way, it is within our power to do what we want to do. If we want to achieve nirvana or the state of having crossed beyond all suffering of cyclic existence, we can simply engage in the causes that lead to nirvana. ~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche,  Pointing Out the Dharmakaya: Teachings on the Ninth Karmapa’s Text page 13.