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

Taking Care of Others

Cover of "Buddhism for Beginners"

Cover of Buddhism for Beginners

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

The Medicine of Altruism

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

Robert V. Taylor at Seeds of Compassion

Image via Wikipedia

 

When we are angry we are blind to reality.

dalai_lama-8

Image by kermitlab via Flickr ~ HH The 14th Dalai Lama

When we are angry we are blind to reality.

Anger may bring us a temporary burst of energy, but that energy is blind and it blocks the part of our brain that distinguishes right from wrong.

To deal with our problems, we need to be practical and realistic.

If we are to be realistic, we need to use our human intelligence properly, which means we need a calm mind.  ~ HH The 14th Dalai Lama

Day 4 – (yesterday 4 Feb) Resuming a meditation practice

One of the keys is knowing we can titrate the experience… we can feel empowered to move our attention to something easier to be with, like listening to sounds, or a relaxed, easy place in the body. Or opening our eyes. Or lovingkindness for ourselves. It’s an experiment. We’re looking for a sense of balance in relationship to our experience, not for a breakthrough. Of course, we’d all love a breakthrough, to be able to say “At noon I finally loved myself completely,” or “This afternoon I vanquished that pattern of fear.” But the reality of our work is that it is based on the idea that healing comes from balance, insight comes from balance. So even as you are resuming a meditation practice, know that within any one session, it is fine (and indeed appropriate) to keep remembering balance—to feel free to shift your focus, to be kind to yourself. ~ Sharon Salzburg, Real Happiness