‘Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life itself reveals again and again the opposite: that letting go is the path to real freedom.
Just as when the waves lash at the shore, the rocks suffer no damage but are sculpted and eroded into beautiful shapes, so our characters can be moulded and our rough edges worn smooth by changes. Through weathering changes, we can learn how to develop a gentle but unshakable composure. Our confidence in ourselves grows, and becomes so much greater that goodness and compassion begin naturally to radiate out from us and bring joy to others.
That goodness is what survives death, a fundamental goodness that is in each and every one of us. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover that strong goodness, and a training toward realizing it.’
—Sogyal Rinpoche author of ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ chapter 3
“If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else. You are this peace. You are happiness, find out. Where else will you find peace if not within you?”
Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the first day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
“You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.”
“There is no emotion that you cannot be rid of, because emotions aresimply thoughts, and thoughts are just like the wind moving through the empty sky. There is nothing to them.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Drawing courtesy of Michael Volpicelli from Masterwork Artistry
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.
Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.
That is my experience.
No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”
Compassion isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. It’s a practice that enables you to shift your perceptive to see and experience life in a very different way than most of us are accustomed to. If you are able to view life from a compassionate place within, then you detach from your ego and its need to always be right. The ego dissolves and you work from your heart instead. In doing this, you become more emotionally mature and you are free from yourself and your need to be validated. This in turn helps free you from suffering.