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Daily Connect: When All the World is Filled with Evil ...

One of the lojong, or mind-training, slogans, which seems particularly apt at this moment says: When all the world is filled with evil, transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi (awakening).

Here is an excerpt from Pema Chodron's commentary on the lojongmindtraining.com site:

The path includes all experiences, both serene and chaotic. We delight in the beauty of the snow falling outside the windows or the light reflecting off the floor. But when the fire alarm rings and confusion erupts, we feel irritated and upset... we've done something wrong, or more usually someone ELSE has done something to ruin our beautiful meditation. As someone once said about a loud, bossy woman, "What is that woman doing in my sacred world?"

How can we help? The way that we can help is by making friends with our own feelings of hatred, bewilderment, and so forth. Then we can accept them in others. With this practice you begin to realize that you're capable of playing all the parts. It's not just them, it's 'us' AND 'them.' I used to feel outrage when I read about parents abusing their children, particularly physically. I used to get righteously indignant - until I became a mother. I remember very clearly one day, when my six-month-old son was screaming and crying and covered in oatmeal and my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was pulling on me and knocking things off the table, thinking "I understand why mothers hurt their children... I'm not going to do it. But at this moment, everything in me want to eradicate completely those two sweet little children."

So lest you find yourself condescendingly doing tonglen for the other one who's SO confused, you could remember that this is a practice where compassion begins to arise in you because you yourself have been there. You've been angry, jealous and lonely. You know what it's like and you know how sometimes you do strange things. Because you're lonely, you say cruel words: because you want someone to love you, you insult them. Exchanging yourself for others...doesn't happen because you're better than they are but because human beings share the same stuff. The more you understand your own, the more you're going to understand others.

 

From Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron, Copyright 1994, Shambhala Publications.

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Comments

Help is a choice. An

Help is a choice. An emergency situation cannot just be relied on cops and firemen etc. We as regular citizens has obligations in giving a hand to these public servants we have,
Spark,
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