Author Topic: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?  (Read 6173 times)

icy

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How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:35:20 AM »
The question arises, how to develop infinite altruism? It seems that it is possible to develop infinite altruism through wisdom and intelligence. Normally, when one talks about the need to cultivate love and compassion for others, one feels that this will be of benefit and help to others, but of no help to oneself, or irrelevant to oneself. This is a mistaken viewpoint because when you develop love and compassion for others, you are able to mentally develop profound satisfaction and courage. As a result you, the practitioner, benefit. You will have less fear, more willpower, more self-confidence. Automatically, one mentally becomes calmer.

--from Many Ways to Nirvana: Reflections and Advice on Right Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

RedLantern

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 08:37:17 AM »
Giving back to others unselfishly is a way of blessing yourself.Putting the needs of others ahead of your own helps many people find a sense of direction and bring a purpose to life.It also helps people survive and to heal
from tragic or challenging events.
Survivors of tragic or life changing experiences reveal that altruism-the unselfish concern for others-is a common survival strategy.Focusing on others can give you a place to stand when the rest of your world is crumbling.Try performing a random act of kindness,giving some of your time,volunteering to a worthwhile cause and experiencing genuine altruism.

fruven

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 08:41:19 PM »
Before we even think of infinite altruism. Think of whether we are taking care of ourselves well, I mean, really well. Most of us do take care of ourselves really well, externally, of course. We take care of our outer appearance, our wealth and possession, basically everything we can see, and others can see.

But more importantly the inner, that which cannot be seen, have we take care of it well? Or well enough? The reason is it will become a burden to others if we don't take care of us well. It is also about responsibilities. Responsibility of ourselves on ourselves.

Then at the same we start looking out, towards others. When we give and help, we should think of this 'will benefit others?, it is an unconditional giving and help, that is not for a reward'. We do need to think in this way consciously. Because in reality the actions might not benefit others. People might acted in ways that we see them as more selfish or become unfriendly towards us. If we become angry, or regret how did we end up trying to be good or helpful to others, then it is because we have some expectations, the worldly kind, like expecting for a reward, it can be praise or friendship. Knowing that we modify our motivations the next time we give and help. We think through our to them in more ways, instead only this way or that way.

yontenjamyang

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 07:23:10 AM »
Altruism is the desire to take personal responsibility to alleviate the sufferings of all mother sentient beings. It is more than compassion which is the wish for others not to have sufferings. So altruism is about taking the responsibility. It is what is called "Superior Intentions". It is necessary that altruism leads to Boddhicitta, the wish to attain full enlightenment for the sake of all sentient being; the best possible way to help others is to become a Buddha. Hence, the Ultimate intention is to lead all mother sentient beings to full enlightenment.

The key to develop altruism is what is called Ultimate Boddhicitta or Wisdom but in order to attain this one must already attained the path of seeing at least. One aspect of wisdom that is useful for developing altruism intellectually at least is the realization that everything is interconnected including all beings and ourselves. Hence, the only way to achieved lasting happiness must necessarily be the happiness of others. Since, others are many and we are only one, their happiness is more important. That is the only way. Happiness of others.

sonamdhargey

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 09:32:17 AM »
Developing Infinite Altruism is a long journey. It does not develop overnight. It takes many experiences, learning, practices to develop it. Altruism in Buddhism is a big word. Sometimes scary to a point that we cannot make the step forward to be. Our selfish minds always are the obstacles to do more for others.

It takes sacrifices "So called" in the secular world to be able to be altruistic like many great beings like Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and others. They devote their entire life to in service to others and these actions does not come over night.   

Midakpa

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 05:55:06 PM »
In the "Liberation in the Palm of your Hand", Pabongka Rinpoche states that altruism is part of the sevenfold cause-and-effect instruction in order to develop bodhicitta. There are seven causes. Altruism is the sixth cause. It is to take on the responsibility towards one's mother sentient beings by resolving: "I myself will lead them to buddhahood."

Pabongka Rinpoche outlined 10 steps or meditation topics in order to develop altruism:

1. equanimity
2. recognition that all sentient beings were your mothers
3. both the ordinary and the special ways of recollecting their kindness
4. the wish to repay their kindness
5. the equality that exists between self and others
6. contemplating the manifold faults resulting from self-cherishing.
7. contemplating the manifold good qualities resulting from cherishing others.
8. taking, involving a visualization that will build up your compassion
9. giving, involving a visualization to build up the love that wishes others happiness
10. the development of altruism.
(Liberation in the Palm of your Hand, Day 19, p. 557)


buddhalovely

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 09:06:51 AM »
In the first chapter of the Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Shantideva talks about the merits and benefits of generating bodhichitta, the altruistic aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. He states:

I bow down to the body of him
In whom the sacred precious mind is born.
I seek refuge in that source of joy
Who brings to happiness even those who harm him.

In this verse, he states that since this altruistic aspiration develops to the infinite capacity of helping all other sentient beings, the person who generates that kind of infinite altruism is truly an object worthy of respect and reverence. Because this infinite altruism is the source of joy and happiness not only for oneself but also for countless other sentient beings, any interaction that other individuals might have with such a person, even a negative one, will leave a very powerful imprint on that individual's life. Even if one commits a negative act or has a negative relationship, although its immediate consequences may be negative, in the long run the very fact that one had an interaction with such a person will lead to positive consequences and benefit in the future. Such is the power of this infinite altruism.

Tenzin K

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 02:43:01 PM »
Personally for me, I must find the reason to be altruism. Understanding dharma make me find the answer and when any confusion on my action I always refer back to the reason why I want to benefit others and be selfless. If we couldn’t the answer to convince ourself there is no way we can act like one. Learned up and put it into practice is very important because if we don’t the result in us we cannot convince others too.
As we learn and practice and see the result this will give us an assurance for our dharma practice and eventually we will move on and further. 

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2015, 04:54:10 PM »
Infinite Altruism can arise from being in a good satisfied state of mind or having experience some life threatening incidence.

In my opinion the motivation for infinite altruism is from no gain and unconditional. I have meet people who are so very nice, kind and compassionate and quite selfless, and I have great admiration for them and looks like they are taken advantage of.  However, having learnt Buddhism, they are the most blessed to be able to have developed infinite altruism.  In such a practice it is not about the recipient is worthy or not but you just give because your are generous. Not in materialistic things alone but of the self.

tingtong

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2015, 12:11:23 AM »
I personally feel.. wanting to help without thinking of gaining anything back if really a tough action.. as human are instill with such kind of selfishness attitude in within..
But I thank on bringing up this topic and allow myself to be reminded that I need to help with wholeheartedly.. and don't even expect any returns.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2015, 09:22:42 AM »
Dear tingtong,  I agree with you that being altruistic is not easy as we are not enlightened. And being a Buddhist, this is one of the core practices.  Personally I do not have too much of a problem giving away materialistic things, but to give my time has been a struggle.  The reasons being I am quite busy but worse for me is that I feel it is a waste of time to spend with people. I have improved as I practise Buddhism.  Not quite there yet but whenever I am being altruistic it is getting to be more and more unconditional and having fine doing so.

Try it, it is worth the efforts. 

yontenjamyang

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2015, 09:13:46 AM »
I personally feel.. wanting to help without thinking of gaining anything back if really a tough action.. as human are instill with such kind of selfishness attitude in within..
But I thank on bringing up this topic and allow myself to be reminded that I need to help with wholeheartedly.. and don't even expect any returns.

It is not a matter of human nature because human nature is "born" out of habituation from many lifetimes of selfishness. It is also derive of the view that things are limited and is a "zero sum game" ie "if you take this, then I would not have it" mentally, and the view that "this" is what makes me happy.

Hence, in the Lamrim there are methods to develop Altruism ie the "Sevenfold Cause and Effect Method" and the "Seven-Point Mind Training Method" are both effective. The key is meditating of these methods and practicing it bearing in mind one needs to continue to built up the conviction step by step and do not expect quick results.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2015, 02:07:33 PM »
Yontenjamyang, I like that you mentioned that "zero sum game'' to the context of scarcity ie if you take this then I will not have it.

I have often thought of life and all that we do so is but a ''zero sum game'' in the context of you win some and you lose some and at the end it is just an exercise of no gain and no lost.

More so that life is a zero sum game is that you are born with nothing and you die with nothing.

Do my thoughts on zero sum game concur with yours on deeper review.

psylotripitaka

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2015, 05:21:56 AM »
Mix your mind with the Guru-Deity

yontenjamyang

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Re: How to Develop Infinite Altruism?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2015, 09:20:26 AM »
Chokyi Dorje,

Mixing your mind with the Guru-Deity is a very effective method. Certainly. But with a few pre requisite. On a sutric level, if one have a Guru who gave the 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion and practice that or if one received teachings on the practice of Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa or any other yidam, one can practice a preliminary kind of mixing the mind with the Guru-Deity ie for example, dissolving the Guru-Yidam with oneselves during the visualization.

On the Tantric level, one must already receive the Boddhisattva vows and further receive a Tantric practice with the relevant transmission and then can practice the prescribe tantra. As I understand, only the highest yoga tantra that one generate self as Guru deity, the lower ones either regard the deity as a deity or as a friend.

On another note, developing altruism from the graduated path of the Lamrim necessitate that one generate all the aspirations of the small and medium scope and then move on to the great scope of the Lamrim. In the great scope,  one practice the relative Boddhicitta and generate the steps to Boddhicitta. In this context, altruism is one step before boddhicitta which to me is "Infinite Altruism". A qualified Guru would not initiate one into the tantra without one having some level of practice in relative boddhicitta, hence the answer rto the "How to develop Infinite Altruism?" is to practice what the Guru prescribe which is usually all that is in the Lamrim and definitely the first 4 of the 6 paramitas (Generosity, Ethics, Patience and Effort).