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Buddhism


Buddhism


The Thirty Seven Practices of The Path of the Bodhisattva

Additional information concerning

Practices 11 - 13.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Click for reference section.


Page Contents

 


Desire and Aversion

Desire and aversion are root illusions.

All other imperfections flow from them. At first, desire seems more harmful to us and aversion more harmful to others, but if we examine both attitudes more closely we will see that aversion causes serious harm to ourselves as well as to others. This feeling and its causes can be overcome by this antidote: patience towards all that provokes us. By having patience, we leave no chance for irritation to be produced.

This is one of the most important practices. It ranges from everyday support for minor irritations all the way to helping us endure suffering inflicted on us by those whom we improperly call our enemies. Improperly - because the persons who allow us to train ourselves in patience should be considered our dearest friends. The Guru, the teachings we receive from him, our dearest friends and family - none are as valuable to us as those who disturb us. Legally, it is permissible to fight against those who harm us. But through practising patience, strong and pure bodhichitta will develop and will encourage us to take responsibility for all sentient beings. Sometimes we will have to practise patience even with our friends; samsaric friendship is not stable and can easily be transformed into antagonism.

So those who wish to walk the path of the bodhisattva must remember the 'Training of the Mind in Eight Verses', which says, 'When he whom I have showered with many things does harm to me, let me consider him my supreme guru!'

When we have assimilated this difficult point, instead of trying to take revenge on someone who irritates us, we will love him as our master and realise his kindness. When we are able to do this, we will never have any problems with others and will realise that we cannot abandon a single sentient being. Not taking care of others not only contradicts the Dharma but is even contrary to daily life, for the uniqueness of a human being, of human existence, is the possibility of altruism and goodness.


References.

Essential Teachings: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Page 72

Souvenir Press

ISBN 0 285 63273 6.



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