“Suppose there is this religious group building thousands of childcare facilities and hospices…. Although these religious workers are doing a lot of caring work, there is no wish to enlighten sentient beings. Their aim is just to provide food and education. At the same time, imagine there is one hermit living somewhere in the mountains of the Himalayas who is doing none of this. In fact, within close range of him, there are a lot of babies dying, yet outwardly he is doing nothing about it. Inwardly, however, he is actually meditating, “May all sentient beings be enlightened!” and he continues to do this every day. Purely because of the enlightenment aspect, this person is worthier of homage than the first group. Why? Because it is so difficult to truly and genuinely wish for the enlightenment of others. It is much easier to give people food and educate them.
Most of us don’t really appreciate this fact. We have never before genuinely wished for someone else to achieve enlightenment. Likewise, if someone were to come over and say to us: “Here you go, you have a ticket for enlightenment. There is only one ticket.” I don’t think we would even think about giving it to someone else! We’d grab it and go for it. Enlightenment is such a valuable thing.
Actually, enlightenment is much too large a subject, so let’s not take that as an example. Instead, let’s say someone comes along with a potion that promises you clairvoyance or omniscience. We would drink it ourselves, not even sharing half of it with others!
Just think how often we are jealous when someone is a better practitioner. How often do we get jealous when someone receives a better or a higher teaching than we do? If you have genuine bodhichitta, you should be happy, shouldn’t you? After all, isn’t that what you wished for? Their getting enlightenment means your wish is at last coming true. Their receiving higher teachings, or becoming better practitioners, means that your aspiration is finally being fulfilled! But we don’t feel this way, instead we feel jealous or envious. Some of us may be so-so Dharma practitioners, so we don’t really feel jealous or envious, but we still feel left behind. Who cares? If you are a genuine bodhisattva, you shouldn’t care about these things. (p.123) ”
–from Entrance to the Great Perfection: A Guide to the Dzogchen Preliminary Practices compiled, translated, and introduced by Cortland Dahl, published by Snow Lion Publications
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