Exchanging self for others

Excessive self-centeredness of me, my, and mine, is fraught with unhappiness. We become anxious and fearful. Distrust and suspicion ooze into our life. We don’t sleep well. We don’t digest our food well. We often feel miserable and don’t know why. Other-centeredness brings happiness, not only when practicing enlightenment, but also in normal everyday life. Practicing Bodhicitta to become enlightened for others — other-centeredness — is called “exchanging self for others.” It means exchanging the attitude of self-centeredness for the attitude of other-centeredness, thinking and acting for the complete welfare of others, all the way to enlightenment. In normal life, the more self-centered we are, the more people walk away from us. We are never satisfied, always wanting more. Other-centeredness, on the other hand, builds trusting relationships filled with meaning, love, and happiness. Emaho! ~ Barry Kerzin

The External World

A king’s robe or an old blanket can keep you warm.
A gold throne or the bare ground can be your seat.
A grand palace or a mud hut can be your shelter.
A jewelled plate or a wooden pot can hold your food.
The external world does not destroy your inner peace,
But your attachment and aversion will.

~ Chamtrul Rinpoche

Dualistic grasping

Big Buddha near Hong Kong

For as long as there is the dualistic grasping of ‘self’ and ‘other’ it is impossible to get rid of all of the external problems that cause us to suffer. But when there is no more dualistic grasping, it’s as if they have disappeared. As the great master Shantideva said:

“Where would I find enough leather to cover the entire surface of the world? But with leather on my feet, it’s as if the whole world has been covered.”

~ Chamtrul Rinpoche

Present Moment…

“Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts. What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future? Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment. Live in harmony with the dharma. Make it the heart of your life and experience. Be the master of your own destiny.”
~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Accepting the Pain of Relationships…

Mindfulness can transform all our personal relationships—but only if we are willing to feel the inevitable pain that relationships entail. When we turn away from our distress, we inevitably abandon our loved ones as well as ourselves. But when we mindfully and compassionately incline toward whatever is arising within us, we can be truly present and alive for ourselves and others. ~ Christopher K. Germer, “Getting Along”