Author Topic: Equalizing self with others.  (Read 15896 times)

kurava

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Equalizing self with others.
« on: April 16, 2012, 03:30:27 AM »
As a method to to develop affectionate love for others, there are three topics for contemplation in the meditation of equalizing ourself with others :

1) All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness,

2) All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me

3) I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others.

Out of the above, which one you find easiest to relate to, why?

Which one you find most difficult to relate to and why?

Positive Change

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 07:26:28 AM »
Somehow all of the above correlates to each other... Because if one generates the thought that all others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, it is not difficult to be selfless and thus not think about just ME. And as a result, the by product of that is that we will wish for others to be free from suffering and be happy because I want to be happy. Kinda makes sense!

Hence my teacher always tells me to focus OUTwards and it becomes easier to be less selfish and self grasping! :)

yontenjamyang

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 06:59:29 AM »
The practice of equalising and exchanging oneself with others combined with the practice of tong-len, or giving and taking, is known as "training the mind" (lo-jong). It is a method to develop Boddhicitta through contemplation and meditation to achieve the state of mind of Boddhicitta.

In between meditations the practice of "Eight Verses of Thought Transformation" by Geshe Langri Tangpa should be the main practice. For practitioner of these degenerate age, the 8 Verses are the most applicable and practical. I append the Eight Verses below:

With the thought of attaining enlightenment
For the welfare of all beings,
Who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel,
I will constantly practice holding them dear.

Whenever I am with others
I will practice seeing myself as the lowest of all,
And from the very depth of my heart
I will respectfully hold others as supreme.

In all actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
Who is overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
I will hold such a rare one dear,
As if I had found a precious treasure.

When others, out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,
I will practice accepting defeat
And offering the victory to them.

When someone I have benefited
And in whom I have placed great trust
Hurts me very badly,
I will practice seeing that person as my supreme teacher.

In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
Every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers.
I will practice in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and sufferings.

Without these practices being defiled by the stains of the eight worldly concerns,
By perceiving all phenomena as illusory,
I will practice without grasping to release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing unsubdued mind and karma.

 

Tammy

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 07:37:56 AM »
As a method to to develop affectionate love for others, there are three topics for contemplation in the meditation of equalizing ourself with others :

1) All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness,
2) All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me
3) I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others.
Out of the above, which one you find easiest to relate to, why?,

Which one you find most difficult to relate to and why?

Haha Kuvara, Thank you for the interesting question.. below my humble opinion:
The easiest to relate to - (1) this is because it is very easy for me to think of repaying other people's kindness. We were trained to say 'thank you' to whoever had helped us or even gave us a drink, hence for those who had helped us, we should definitely repay their kindness with our gratitutes.

The hardest to relate to - (3) this is because it is very difficult for us to detach the 'me' view. Meaning we have always been making ourselves the top priority and other people's affairs as secondary..

Down with the BAN!!!

vajrastorm

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 09:47:05 AM »
After some serious contemplation and also discussion with others, I think the easiest for me to relate to is the second reason: "Just as I wish to be free from suffering and experience only happiness, so do all others. In this respect, i'm no different from other beings. We're all equal". I can relate best to this in terms of my own experiences and through my feelings.It's true and i can well imagine it that everyone else and i want to be free from suffering and to experience only happiness.

The hardest for me to accept as reason for equalizing self with others is the first one.  "All living beings have shown me great kindness both in this and in previous lives". "All living beings" would include not only all human beings but all beings of the six realms of samsara. Furthermore it involves kindness shown in previous lives of which I have no recollection. This first reason requires me to have realized much wisdom to fathom it.. The logical way to be convinced that all beings of this and previous lives have shown us much kindness is to  be first convinced that all beings have been our mothers before because, logically speaking and from our own experience, the kindest person and the one that has shown the most selfless love to us, is our mother. In the Lamrim, it is stated that this - the fact that all beings have been our mothers before - is one of the most difficult Truths for us to accept.   

Midakpa

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 03:38:07 PM »
Topic 2 is the easiest to relate to because it is recognising something that we can feel ourselves, i.e. the wish to be happy and to be free from suffering.

Topic 1 is the aspect of wisdom and requires one to reflect on the belief that all beings have been related to us in past lives and thus had been kind to us as our mothers, fathers, etc. This can be proven by inference. The Buddha had discovered this in his meditations and taught that it would be difficult to find someone who had not be related to us in a previous life. Therefore, if we accept the Buddha's teachings as the truth, we have to accept this statement also as the truth.

Topic 3 is the compassion aspect. Compassion arises when we observe the sufferings of countless beings and we develop the wish that they be liberated from their misery. There is a sense of sacrifice for the happiness of others.

For me, topic  2 is easy to relate to. Topics 1 and  3 need a bit of contemplating to understand and they are harder to relate to.

Tenzin K

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 12:04:11 PM »
All 3 are really a great method.

For me the easiest to relate will be “All others wish to be free frm suffering and be happy, others are just like me”.
Whatever you want for good is just the same as others want it. It makes sense. What the different is the method to acquire it. Some of the people use bad way to gain happiness by hurting someone. They forget that the other party also wants happiness. The selfish mind if just about our self and forget that there are other being living together. I can’t understand how a person can live by looking happiness just for themselves.

So when we want to look for happiness, think for others first. People around us deserve too. Everyone be harmony and more happiness we will together gain.

The difficult one to relate will be “All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness”. It’s not that tough to relate but just not by my nature able to think it all the time that all sentient being is my mother before (the similarity that a found).
Under normal circumstances if nothing negative/bad happen between us and others we always can be nice with others.
But when things happen the other way round we will get annoy or angry. We will just easily forget about karma / cause and effect that relate our action with the negative situation. I think we need to contemplate on this method more to make it habituate in our conscious mind and practice it regularly and progressively. Always remember that all others have been kind to us before. 

pgdharma

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 03:55:06 PM »
I feel that it is easier for me to relate to no. 2. "All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me"

No one like to suffer and be unhappy. Everyone want to be free from suffering. So I feel that if I do not like others to cause unhappiness and sufferings to me then I shouldn't create that kind of sufferings and unhappiness to others also.

The difficult one to relate to is no.3 because I am not an advance practitioner of the 8 verses of thought transformation. At times, I still cherish myself more than others. :(



ilikeshugden

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 08:04:36 AM »
The three topics of contemplation that are mentioned here apply pretty well in my life and are very relatable.  The first one is because we have countless lifetimes and every being had been our mother at one point so therefore we need to repay our kindness to all our mothers of the past, present and future. According to the second contemplation, all others seek refuge from suffering; I feel the same way too, so this is very relatable too. The third contemplation is less relatable to the others as the contemplation is about humility and I still lack that. I find that one difficult because I always search for fame and I always try to find ways (even sneaky ones), to sound intelligent and puff up my pride. I have to still work on that one to make it more relatable.

ratanasutra

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 06:54:31 PM »
As a method to to develop affectionate love for others, there are three topics for contemplation in the meditation of equalizing ourself with others :

1) All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness,

2) All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me

3) I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others.

Out of the above, which one you find easiest to relate to, why?

Which one you find most difficult to relate to and why?

Actually all 3 points are very good to help us to develop our love to other.

For me no.3 (I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others) is the most difficult to relate with as every thing is just for me and me and it hardly to think that other more importance than us..

And also because other are countless it doesn't make me feel that there are more importance than me unlike another 2 points which i can relate them with their compassion/kindness and make me feel that i should return their kindness. And what are everyone wishes which is same as me, what i want is what they want so i easy to understand why they act, do like that as i also feel too.

Thank you for these strong points, so that i can think about it when i want to react negative to someone. it will be a good reminder for me.


 

valeriecheung

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 06:19:51 PM »
For me all this very difficult to achieve this good quality, if really need to be choose..
1) The easiest to relate is point 1 - since young kids teacher always remind us to kind to others especially those been kind to me. So repay kindness is born human nature deep inside our heatrs,

2) The most difficult to release is pont 3. Treat others as highest and me is lowest. This action is true love without conditions. I think the basic quality to achieve this good quality is to be humble without ego. Ego will kill our life into very bad situation and bad karma arise. 

Q

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 03:57:29 AM »
Hmm.... actually, all 3 selections are inter related and is improbably to exist by it's own...

However, as a practitioner that have an untrained mind and still very samsaric even in thoughts... I would say that the easiest one for me to relate to is number 2... that all sentient beings wants to be free of suffering just like me. Although i'm not suffering outwardly, there is not one incident in this life that would actually bring suffering to me, but I know deep down, I'm suffering (i know the explanation here is a little complicated for my lack of expression and vocabulary, but i hope you can understand what i meant)... So because I'm able to relate to it, it is easier for me to think of all sentient beings are in this state too.

The one that is most difficult for me to relate is number 1... Why? Very easy explanation which i recently realised. I have trained myself since young to ignore and forget about other people's misfortune because it affects me emotionally. It is difficult for me to see people suffering and I am unable to help... so to protect 'myself', I just stopped caring. I did that for more than 20 years... and unfortunately, eventually I stopped caring for everything else that happens around me, and that includes people being kind or bad or whatever to me. So because of this, number 1 is really difficult for me to relate.

Manjushri

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 07:03:32 AM »
As a method to to develop affectionate love for others, there are three topics for contemplation in the meditation of equalizing ourself with others :

1) All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness,

2) All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me

3) I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others.

Out of the above, which one you find easiest to relate to, why?

Which one you find most difficult to relate to and why?

All of the above point towads putting others before oneself, and reminds me immediately of the 8 verses to thought transformation. They all point towards development of Bodhicitta.

The easiest one to relate to would hvae to be number 2, because if you ask anyone what they want, it would be to be happy. Of course not everyone would know how to seek it, thus dive deeper into samsara thinking that would make them happy, earn more money, so that they can suffer less. But all our actions in samsara, our attachments etc, is our way and method to make us happy and relieve our suffering.. albeit temporarily. Therefore number two is easiest to relate to because everyone is seeking happiness and be free from suffering, just that everyone has different methods and approach to seeking that ultimate goal.

I think number 1 is hard to relate to, not on the aspect of remembering the kindness others have given to me in this life, but more so for the part that "All others have been kind to me in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness". We cannot remember how others have been kind to us in our previous lives therefore we cannot base our judgement from anything, so it is then harder to bring forth that kindness to someone you don't know. Operating from the selfish human mind, the mind would think "what has he done for me? " - and from the negative response, which would most probably be nothing, one would find it easier to think "since its nothing, then I do not need to be kind to him, or go an extra mile", because we do not want to trouble ourselves and go out of our comfort zone to help someone we don't know. Therefore I think number 1 is hardest to relate to, for our human minds which automatically operates on a "me" basis.

However, I don't think its hard. We all just got to start somewhere to head towards developing Bodhicitta - eventhough if we take baby steps, at least we're still trying. All 3 meditations above are excellent to help us take our first step out.

Big Uncle

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 07:50:38 AM »
As a method to to develop affectionate love for others, there are three topics for contemplation in the meditation of equalizing ourself with others :

1) All others have been kind to me now and in previous lives, therefore I must return their kindness,

2) All others wish to be free from suffering and be happy, others are just like me

3) I am only one, others are countless ; thus I'm less important than others.

Out of the above, which one you find easiest to relate to, why?

Which one you find most difficult to relate to and why?

You sound like an emanation of a fierce school teacher. Just kidding. I find number 2 easiest to relate to because it is very easy for me to see that everyone wants happiness and afraid of suffering. It is very to see that from the smallest of insects to complicated human strangers on the street. Hence, it is pretty much a universal truth that we are dealing with and it is very easy to understand that intellectually. To practice it successfully takes effort and time along with a lot of contemplation.

On the other hand, I find number 1 the most difficult because previous lives requires faith as we don't have direct perception of its existence at the moment. Some say, it requires wisdom coupled with a lot of merits to realize it. The way many of us lead our lives is as if we have no previous nor future lives. This is even for many who are in the Dharma. 

biggyboy

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Re: Equalizing self with others.
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 09:52:37 AM »
After much thinking over the 3 points here, the number 2 point relate to me much more.  Why?  Everyone do not want or wish to suffer. That is for sure.  No matter how, we still suffers...depending on the degree of their suffering. There are times when I was going through bad patches of life, thinking of suiciding does cross my mind.  What stops me was that I know I am not alone and there are people out there who are just like me survived? How! What supports do they get to get to them thru their life and become successful? And I always think of my Guru who has always there been there for me due to his kindness, love and care.  How can I be ungrateful to him?  Again, here we have to be grateful to what we have and give that kind of care and love to others.  They deserve it too.  It is not just about me.  Many others out there need too.