put our hopes everywhere and that conceals the true condition
of things and spoils our vision of the world. Consequently,
we are lost in trying to orient or adapt ourselves correctly
in our lives. Equanimity means to see things as they really
are. First we must see clearly, then we can adapt our actions
appropriately without being unduly emotional. To reach equanimity
we need mind training to develop good habits. Whether we are
seeing things as good or bad, helpful or annoying, we must take
the time to examine the situation as it is. Bodhicitta, mind
training, equanimity, and clear mind are all interrelated. The
progress and development of any one will have positive effects
on the others.
we do something, it is usually in response to a personal need.
Otherwise, our efforts in the "something" will not last long
and it won't work. Likewise, to end suffering we must raise
a sense of urgency to be rid of it. Suffering comes from others
and our milieu. When we are at work, people generate unpleasant
situations which could be improved. One possibility for positive
change is to observe the relationship we have with other people.
Often, where there is a conflict we should observe it like this:
poison is my own self-preoccupation. The conflict is created
because they don't act as I would like them to act. But, is
my method or my way of seeing things good or not? "
mistake is our general refusal to take other people into account
or to "share the cake." In our relationship with others we should
always consider them first. We should not regard them as obstacles.
We should acknowledge that they also have aspirations. They
have the same aspirations as we do only from a different perspective.
Understanding their point of view will render any interaction
easier, more open, and with less conflict. Dysfunction usually
comes from negative attitude. Altruism is the preoccupation
with other peoples' welfare.
we do not see results from our efforts, we immediately dismiss
them as bad. This is a mistake. Our expectations might have
been too high. It is important to see our egos at work. We should
be patient and be modest in our expectations.
we decide to wait for an ideal situation before we act and as
a result we never get started. The resolve to do what is right
was good but lacking in application. The smallest examples are
usually the best to start with. Take an everyday event that
has gone wrong, determine what happened. Recognize your own
reactions before any further undertakings. You might find your
reasons for reacting are often: "I don't like it!" or "That's
just the way I am!" Yet, you never ask: "Why am I like that?"
Or, "Why am I always saying, "I don't want ... and so forth."
It is precisely these tendencies which develop aversions. You
have created them by yourself. You carry your bias into all
your relationships. Ask yourself why. This is where you can
affect the big changes. By "yourself," the method doesn't work;
you need the "other" to provide the opportunity.
is key to openness. Avarice is natural in all of us: "I want
things to be like this for me!" This type of thinking gives
rise to frustration. There is no longer contentment. Contentment
is not pining always "for better," or "for more," etc. Instead,
be reasonable and set realistic and effective goals. Bodhicitta
requires us to look at other people's viewpoints. This principle
should always be our prevailing interest. But we neglect our
efforts to develop contentment. We should examine for ourselves
what is really unpleasant in a given situation. Contentment
is a state where things are deemed satisfactory. It is a matter
of reasonable balance.
which includes benevolence is often absent from our mind stream.
Most situations are fluid. We should try to be flexible. We
are not computers, and profit and efficiency should not be our
only concerns. We should act out of benevolence even though
this is not yet spontaneous for us at the moment. We cannot
be only charming and nice to people whom we like. We should
be vigilant lest we quickly give up after a few attempts. Natural
benevolence does not stay for long. The law of cause and effect
functions well and without exception, benevolence leads to better
resolution of conflicts. Always engender benevolence when facing
aversion. There is a danger in taking the teachings too intellectually.
Peace of mind is not measurable unlike a stethoscope probe is.
The result of positive action is assured though it might not
always leads to positive mental states. Feeling grateful is
generally considered a positive state. For example, if you bought
some rice at the market, then went home and cooked it for supper,
reflect on the people who grew the rice and give them credit.
In this way benevolence will increase. Because of benevolence
we forge recognition. Each time you recognize a link, it makes
you feel much better. The opposite of benevolence is tension.
Contrary to the natural tendency of deluded mind, which is usually
not even aware of thoughts, try to see if your thoughts make
any sense. When we are more centered and focused, a deeper understanding
is then possible. Always examine the meaning of what you are
doing. Be aware and develop mindfulness. A non-distracted mind
is present in meditation. When our mind is less preoccupied,
we will see more of the present moment. The same attitude that
we adopt in our formal meditation should be applicable likewise
in our active life. Reflect and keep check of your thoughts
and actions. A deeper understanding of the teachings will develop.
Usually, we think that once we have heard something, we understand
it all. The same applies to people; we see them and we think
we now know them. Remain open. Always make allowance for other
possibilities rather than being closed-minded, or too definite
about your own views. On the subject of meditation, the object
of training is to allow for a clearer mind. Mind has the capacity
to find its original clarity. Meditation is not to add something
to, or to change the nature of mind, but to remove the veils
that obstruct the mind from manifesting itself properly. When
the mind is disturbed, it is not focused. It is wandering or
following various chains of ideas. Through meditation, we can
bring it back to the "here and now." Stability of mind will
enhance a deeper awareness of mind itself. Stability, clarity,
and lucidity are original qualities of the mind.