When people genuinely meet the dharma, they realize it directly within themselves. So the Buddha said that he is merely the one who shows the way. In teaching us, he is not accomplishing the way for us. It is not so easy as that. It’s like someone who sells us a plow to till the fields. He isn’t going to do the plowing for us. We have to do that ourselves.
-Ajahn Chah, “Meeting the Dharma Alone”
I really like this quote. We are responsible for ourselves. Which means we are not victims of someone unless we choose to be. ~ Debra
” It is interesting to me that people don’t see any connection between their misery and their complaints — their feeling of being a victim; the feeling that everyone is doing something to them. It’s amazing. How many times has this connection been pointed out in the dharma talks? How many? And yet because of our fear we won’t look.” ~ Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen, Love & Work
Fear does many things to us. When fear is valid; it keeps us safe. When it is not valid; it holds us back. ~ Debra
Everything’s good…Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know he’s happy. It’s only that. That’s all, that’s all! If anyone finds out, he’ll become happy at once, that minute. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A wonderful photo of H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama:
Happy in Everything
In training the mind, perspective is of crucial importance. We cannot expect to transform our minds in a few minutes or even a few weeks, thinking, perhaps, that the blessings of an enlightened individual will enable us to obtain immediate results. Such an attitude is not realistic. It takes a long time, sometimes years or even decades; but if we persevere, there is no doubt we will make progress. ~ His Holiness. The 14th Dalai Lama
I am posted this because it has touched on something Nancy (Spirit Lights The Way) & I have commented on recently…maybe it will help you too? 🙂 It is from Tricycle, so feel free to go to their website for more information on this ….
“Pamela Gayle White, from Week 4 of the ongoing Tricycle Retreat, “Letting Go” that she is leading along with Khedrub Zangmo,
Something that has been very helpful for me is trying to understand just how subjective my own interpretation of sticky situations and difficult relationships can be. I have a story to illustrate this.
Once, during my first retreat with a group of people, there was a woman in our retreat center that most of the rest of us found irritating. We didn’t want to be irritated by her, for we were all trying to be good Buddhists, budding bodhisattvas. It bothered us that she was pushing our buttons continuously because that’s not how we saw ourselves—as ordinary neurotic people.
Of course, we talked about it, about her, as people do. Then one day four of us got together in one of the girls rooms and decided that each of us was going to write down what exactly it was about this woman, Therese, that bothered us so very much. We each got a piece of paper and a pen and were very happy to have a little project to work on. This was at lunch time so we weren’t breaking any retreat rules. We all sat down and wrote our pieces and then compared them. The result was a revelation.
One of the girls, who couldn’t throw anything away, said “Therese, she’s just such a packrat! She’s got this thing about grasping where she just can’t let go. It bothers me, I find it so irritating.” Then, the oldest among us had written, “Therese is just so old. She really doesn’t catch on very fast.” It was clearly about her own fears of getting older. Then the next of us shared that she had written “Therese, y’know, she just isn’t very swift.” This was the person who was having the hardest time learning the practices. Then, the fourth person, me, who has long been working with my natural tendency of being quite irritable, had written, “She’s just so irritable! There’s always this anger in her that is just waiting to flare up!”
We looked at each other and could see the problem wasn’t Therese at all. It was such a lesson.
Retreat isn’t just about practice, it’s also about these fabulous lessons that we learn about ourselves and others. Therese was a mirror that taught all of us. She taught me to ask, whenever I am having a difficult experience with someone, “what it is in me that can’t stand the mirror?”
*names were changed to protect the innocent
I found this teaching by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama on Lama Yeshe’s site.
After reading it, I knew I should share this wonderful teaching. Here is a snippet of what you will read:
‘You have come a long way to be here, from various countries, and often with much difficulty and trouble. There are the strikes, and there are many of you, and it is not easy to get here. And you have not come here with the intention of going to a festival, for entertainment, or to do a good business deal, or for any personal glory. You have come here to hear the Dharma, more precisely Mahayana Dharma, to receive a tantric initiation, more particularly that of anuttarayoga, and among these Kalachakra. To some completely samsaric people, this may seem strange and even comical. Never mind… Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’
So remember when you read…’Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’ 🙂 Namaste
And raining hard. Thunder & lightning, so my computer is off.
Will try to have a book review for tomorrow.
Be well _/!\_