Author Topic: Pema Chödrön Advice: Goodwill  (Read 7408 times)

sonamdhargey

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Pema Chödrön Advice: Goodwill
« on: September 16, 2012, 03:05:17 PM »
"The next time you go out in the world, you might try this practice: directing your attention to people—in their cars, on the sidewalk, talking on their cell phones—just wish for them all to be happy and well. Without knowing anything about them, they can become very real, by regarding each of them personally and rejoicing in the comforts and pleasures that come their way. Each of us has this soft spot: a capacity for love and tenderness. But if we don’t encourage it, we can get pretty stubborn about remaining sour."

Very well written :)

I wonder any of you practiced this?

About Pema Chodron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pema_Chödrön
Source: (Pema Chödrön, No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, Shambala, 2005)

Tenzin Malgyur

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 551
Re: Pema Chödrön Advice: Goodwill
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 04:57:40 PM »
Thank you sonam for sharing this article with us. It made me realize the potential for us to be loving towards others are waning. It could be that we are so inclined towards chasing for our own material gains that we are closing ourselves to the needs of those around us. I am making a mental note to start this very simple exercise written by Pema Chodron, for I really do not wish to become a sour and moody person.

DS Star

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
Re: Pema Chödrön Advice: Goodwill
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 10:21:43 PM »
Strangers are our friends and families too... in many of our previous lifetimes if we believe what Buddha says...

Lord Buddha said, “In previous lives, I have killed all of you before and you have all slaughtered me. Why should we now be attached to each other?”

In Lamrim, we learn that we need to practice equanimity and should discard the thinking of categorized others into the 3 groups of : friends, enemies and strangers. This concepts are created by our deluded mind.

This all started because we discriminate between ourselves i.e. the "I" and "others". Due to the influence of the Three Poisons, we continue to discriminate and creating more sufferings to ourselves.

Equilibrium meditation by Lama Zopa:

For countless rebirths I have been discriminating other beings as friend, enemy or stranger with the self-I consciousness. Chandrakirti said, “Where there is self-I consciousness, there is discrimination of other.” From discriminated partisanship between self and other, attachment and hatred arise.

All misfortune arises from acting under the influence of these negative minds.

The self-I consciousness causes attachment to self, which produces attachment to my own happiness.

The entire range of negative minds arises from the above.

Anger is caused by greed and self-attachment and makes me discriminate against whoever disturbs my happiness, producing the enemy.

Attachment creates the friend, who helps, and determines the enemy, who hinders.

Ignorance labels those who neither help nor hinder as strangers.

Anger makes me hate and harm the enemy; attachment makes me cling to and help the friend; and ignorance makes me see the stranger as having a permanent self-nature. By acting under the influence of these negative minds, I lead myself into difficult and suffering situations.

Attachment creates danger and suffering for myself and others. The whole earth is in danger of exploding. Attachment offers no peace and brings only suffering.


So it is very important that we practice equanimity to check our attachment to friends, indifference to strangers and hatred to enemies. We must try our best not to discriminate.
 

vajratruth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Pema Chödrön Advice: Goodwill
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 05:27:06 PM »
"The next time you go out in the world, you might try this practice: directing your attention to people—in their cars, on the sidewalk, talking on their cell phones—just wish for them all to be happy and well. Without knowing anything about them, they can become very real, by regarding each of them personally and rejoicing in the comforts and pleasures that come their way. Each of us has this soft spot: a capacity for love and tenderness. But if we don’t encourage it, we can get pretty stubborn about remaining sour."


What a simple and effective advice. The rationale is quite simple and yet we forget because of how self-centred we are.

In Pema Chodron's simple advice there are a few important elements that are very helpful to the practitioner. Her advice of directing our attention to people require us to be AWARE of everyone around us and once we are aware of them, we are also reminded that everyone is suffering, something we have already been taught. So immediately we cultivate awareness and we use everyone we come across and subject matters for our training.

Once we become aware that everyone is suffering, we relate to them a bit more. Most of the time, we are only engrossed with our own sufferings. And so we cultivate compassion.

Cultivation is something we do every minute of the same. It is just a matter of where we are aware of what kind of thoughts we are cultivating. We either cultivate anger and discrimination or we cultivate good will and loving-kindness. Whichever one we cultivate will become the habit in our own minds that will either impede our practice or assist it.

I also like what Pema Chodron said about all of us having the capacity for love and tenderness and clearly those well along the path of the Bodhisattvas have exercised that capacity more than others. The key is not that they have it and we don't. They key is that they exercise that capacity while we restrict ours in the selfish thoughts that we cultivate instead.