‘We have the propensity for showing kindness and love from birth. It is part of our nature. However, this has been turned off by our upbringing or different circumstances and we have become habituated to not using it.’ ~ The 17th Karmapa
Although we are all the same in not wanting problems and wanting a peaceful life, we tend to create a lot of problems for ourselves. Encountering those problems, anger develops and overwhelms our mind, which leads to violence. A good way to counter this and to work for a more peaceful world is to develop concern for others. Then our anger, jealousy and other destructive emotions will naturally weaken and diminish. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
No matter what comes up, we can learn new ways of being with it. We have a capacity to meet any thought or emotion with mindfulness and balance. Whatever disagreeable emotion is coursing through us, we can let it go. Rereading those words may keep you going when sitting down to practice is the last thing you want to do. ~ Sharon Salzberg, “Sticking with It”
As human beings, we are all the same. We have this marvelous intelligence, which sometimes creates problems for us, but when influenced by warm-heartedness can be very constructive. In this context, we need to appreciate the value of having moral principles. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Taking care of others can be done with two very different motivations. With one, we care for others in an unhealthy way, seemingly sacrificing ourselves, but really acting out of fear or attachment. People who are attached to praise, reputation, relationships, and so forth and who fear losing these may seemingly neglect their own needs to take care of others. But in fact, they are protecting themselves in an unproductive way. Their care comes not from genuine love, but from a self-centered attempt to be happy that is actually making them more unhappy.
The other way of taking care of others is motivated by genuine affection, and this is what the Buddha encouraged. This kind of affection and respect for others doesn’t seek or expect something in return. It is rooted in the knowledge that all other beings want to be happy and to avoid pain just as much as we do. ~ Thubten Chodron, Buddhism for Beginners page 32
Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir – a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This is like a seed; when cultivated, gives rise to many other good qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity. The compassionate mind is like an elixir; it is capable of transforming bad situation into beneficial ones. Therefore, we should not limit our expressions of love and compassion to our family and friends. Nor is the compassion only the responsibility of clergy, health care and social workers. It is the necessary business of every part of the human community.
~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, The Medicine of Altruism
- Medicine of Altruism (chakralivingroomaz.com)
Just yesterday I was thinking of how to help the ever changing world…i.e.more famines…more riots…more violence for violence’s sake.
I thought…What can I do? (not in order)
1. Feed the sentient beings as I can, locally.
2. Pray and do mantra practice
4. Smile to all even if they do not smile in return.
5. Drive mindfully and safely
6. Look people in the eyes and see them for them
7. Volunteer at the Local Food Bank
8. Travel the Middle Path
9. Speak only those words that should be spoken
10. Repeat and add more.
I know this is a simple and incomplete list. And we all do these things with out referring to the list. But sometimes it helps to write down what we can do to help ourselves and all sentient beings. It removes anger (frustration)…apathy due to being overwhelmed…it highlights the ripple effect (what we do, feel, not do, not feel..ripples throughout the worlds)