The Compassion Book II

The Compassion Book

16.Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation.

The unexpected will stop your mind. Rest in that space. When thoughts start again, do tonglen, breathing in whatever pain you may feel, thinking that others also feel like this, and gradually becoming more and more willing to feel this pain with the wish that others won’t have to suffer. If it is a “good” shock, send out any joy you may feel, wishing for others to feel it also.

17.Practice the five strengths, The condensed heart instructions.

The five strengths are:

17.1. strong determination to train in opening the heart and mind;

17.2. familiarization with the practices (such as tonglen) that help you to do that;

17.3. the positive seed that is within you, experienced as a yearning to practice and wake up;

17.4. reproach, which is a tricky one for Western students but is an important practice: realizing that ego-clinging causes you to suffer, you delight in self-reflection, in honesty, and in seeing where you get stuck; and

17.5. the aspiration to help alleviate suffering in this world, expressing that intention to yourself.

18.The mahayana instruction for the ejection of consciousness at death Is the five strengths: how you conduct yourself is important.

19.All dharma agrees at one point.

The entire Buddhist teachings (dharma) are about lessening one’s self-absorption, one’s ego-clinging.

20.Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one.

The two witnesses of what you do are others and yourself. Of these two, you are the only one who really knows exactly what is going on. So work with seeing yourself with compassion but without any self-deception.

21.Always maintain only a joyful mind.

Constantly apply cheerfulness, if for no other reason than because you are on this spiritual path. Have a sense of gratitude to everything, even difficult emotions, because of their potential to wake you up.

22.If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.

23.Always abide by the three basic principles.

The three basic principles are:

23.1. Keeping the promises you made if you took refuge vows and bodhisattva vows. When we take the refuge vow, we vow to take refuge in the Buddha, as an example of how to open and let go, the dharma (Buddha’s teachings) as instructions on how to do this, and the sangha, the community of those who are also on this path. When we take the bodhisattva vow, we vow to awaken in order to help others to do the same.

23.2. Refraining from outrageous conduct or not engaging in what is sometimes called “bodhisattva exhibitionism.”

23.3. Developing patience in both difficult an delightful situations.

24.Change your attitude, but remain natural.

25.Don’t talk about injured limbs.

Don’t try to build yourself up by talking about other people’s defects.

26.Don’t ponder others.

Don’t ponder others’ weak points, becoming arrogant about your own accomplishments.

27.Work with the greatest defilements first.

28.Abandon any hope of fruition.

29.Abandon poisonous food.

30.Don’t be so predictable.


Source: Pema Chodron – __The_Compassion_Book_-_Pema_Chodron


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