The mind, dividing experiences into subject and object, first identifies with a subject, “I”, then with the idea of “mine”, and starts to cling to “my body”, “my mind”, and “my name”. As our attachment to these three notion grows stronger and stronger, we become more and more exclusively concerned with our own well-being.All our striving for comfort, our intolerance of life’s annoying circumstances, our preoccupation with pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, praise and blame, are due to this idea of “I”.
~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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When talking about others is motivated by thoughts of ill will, jealousy, or attachment, conversations turn into gossip. These thoughts may seem to be subconscious, but if we pay close attention to our mind we’ll be able to catch them in the act. Many of these are thoughts that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to others, but my experience is that when I become courageous enough to notice and admit them, I’m on my way to letting them go.
~ Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, “The Truth About Gossip”
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”It is our motivation that direct our acts, just as an irrigation channel makes water flow where it is wanted. If our acts are constantly inspired by the desire to relieve others from suffering, in the end this desire will be fulfilled. But if we ignore this a great deal and instead limit ourselves to achieving a long, comfortable and prosperous life, we may well get it -but certainly nothing more.”
– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche –
- Om Mani Padme Hum (reflectionofabuddhistmonk.com)
When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.
~ Pema Chodron
Practice of giving and receiving, we take on, through compassion, all the various mental and physical sufferings of all beings; their fear, frustration, pain, anger, guilt, bitterness, doubt, and rage, and we give them, through love, all our happiness and well-being, peace of mind, healing, and fulfillment.
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Tonglen is a great practice. It does take practice also. 🙂 And not everyone feels comfortable doing this…exchange. If you do not feel comfortable with Tonglen, do not worry. There are many ways to help others and you will find one you do feel comfortable with. ~ Debra