Annual India Tours
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt
gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity.
These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
MARCH 6 1990
Following on the theme, the principle objective of the meditations we have been going through is the generation of a loving heart. In developing that, if one uses the mother meditation once every week or so, one will find that one will become softer and more appreciative of both receiving affection and love from other people, and also the giving of it. There will be an increase in that. In participating in this, don't just take it that one time I did the meditation on love, the motherly heart warming love, reflecting on the love of my mother, try to it periodically and there will be good effects for you. Even to improve your relationships with your own parents possibly.
Do have that in your mind. In the process of developing love, there is some thought and ideas about our perspective on life which can be adjusted to help us to become more easily a loving and kind person. One of the best ones and I find it for myself the most effective tool in dealing with very emotionally toned issues is to reflect on the idea that just as I want happiness, so everyone else wants happiness. Just as I don't want suffering, even the smallest suffering, so other people do't want suffering. In reflecting on that, you can really put yourself in a very powerful position to be able to have a sense of empathy and love with other people. That is the sort of flow we are on is to work at that. To develop the perspective of being kind hearted and such.
It is always good to rejoice in the benefits of kind heartedness and such. The principle benefit that you can bring to mind is the positive attitude that it generates. When you think of various things to do with yourself, in changing yourself, you learn new things because you have an interest to improve your lot in life. And I think most of us sift through some new information which helps us live our life better, we would be interested in being able to have that information. Whether it is dealing with our body and health or dealing with our perspective, understanding of the world around us. So think about it a little. That of perspectives, of thought patterns, that generally people work on the basis of if I get my act together in the next five or ten years, and maybe I do a bit of more astute bargaining or something like that, maybe I could end up being fairly wealthy. And then with that I could enjoy myself or something. But if you look at it, there is some sort of set goals and there is the objective and how to realize it's put in place. But it is not that encompassing. It requires one, that we live and that we don't die an early death. Two, it is aimed definitely to be experienced within this lifetime, and again actually, death is the worst thing to come along and could get in the way of it. And if we were to think about people around us, truly ninety-nine percent of human beings live within that framework. And death is the worst thing that could happen to us in anyway whatsoever.
So if that is the reality, then let's look at our perspective of life. That death is the worst enemy. That it can ruin everything. And certainly illness is going to ruin things. And any crippling disease is going to ruin things. All of those things are reality. I know for myself it certainly applies. If I got sick and such, I would be a little more miserable. So if that is the reality then, take that and then re-apply your thoughts about I am trying to be a more loving and kind person. What will this do, if that is my objective, what is ramifications of that taken that we have certain goals and ambitions and generally they are focused in this lifetime only. Well, one of the things if you think about it well enough, there really can not be expectation on love. Love is a sense of giving and sharing. If you love someone, especially when you love people you really are happy with, now when you give something it is wonderful. It is joy. You don't think well they are going to like me better for this, or something! If you have a child or have al partner in your life, when you give them something, you are really happy. And to give them something gives you an incredible sense of joy. And especially if you know it exactly hits them where they wanted something. You could almost get goose bumps thinking about the happiness that they are getting. Especially if is is something very valuable, something very special.
There is no real objective in that other than you are sharing something with this other person. You have the possibility of being able to give that. And so you do! There is a real wonderful good feeling with that. As I say, I don't think anyone who is feeling real love, even reflects a little of the ramifications of that as into they are going to like me better or something.
So if that is close to true love, real love, sharing and giving for other people, then becoming a more kind loving person completely goes beyond having to be of concern of death. And you think about it. Alright if I develop love and kindness within myself and I become a more compassionate and sympathetic person, then whether I am healthy or whether I am ill is immaterial. Because I can still be a kind loving person. Kindness can express itself even if I am totally bed ridden. Even if I was crippled, I could still be a kind person. I could still have the capacity to listen and share kind words and do things with people. And certainly if I am not crippled or bed ridden, I have a greater opportunity to express love and kindness. I can help an older person across the road. I can help someone put their groceries in their car. And if I was living in this sort of energy of kind heartedness and it wasn't artificial, I would have all sorts of causes of joy in my life. And again, I never need to be worried or tainted by the fear that death will take it away. All the way up to the end, you can have kindness in your heart. And when you do die, you actually can have one of the most incredible insurance policies in your life. That you have lived a very good life. You have done the best you could. You don't have to claim that you are incredible and a paragon of virtue, but you can feel that you are pretty good with yourself. And your love is what can give you a sense of security. You can feel secure in your feelings of love. And truly I think religious feeling has it's basis in love. And a sense that there is maybe some ultimate entity which is the nature of love and we can give ourself over to that.
So even on a deeper level we can feel a quite comfortable at the time of death with love in our heart. Certainly I think if we have more religious beliefs, and even we don't, we can still feel fairly secure, fairly comfortable when we go to our death time because we feel good about it. So in that way, do if you think about it, and sort of think of the advantages or the goodness, like what is to be attained from me if I develop a kinder nature. Then there is incredible benefit. A really wonderful thing. So you should try to reflect that way a bit.
Also, I know for myself, I have a piece of property and put a brand new stair well down to my basement and wall to wall carpeting in the basement because of a nice flood that came along. I got rid of all the old carpeting. And these are all little attainments and I am feeling good right now. And that is wonderful for sure but those things are all... you know I have to be around to enjoy them. If I got sick I can't get down my basement. If I was crippled I couldn't get down there either! Understand like, pretty limited joy! Even though I have joy it it, there are lot's of possibilities for not being able to enjoy it and things. You understand my point?
The thing is we do function in a materialistic manner. And we do feel joy at that. So that is part of our nature. But if you think about it a little deeper about what I really would want, is to think hey, if I become a kinder person, there is a lot better high and joy in that. And it is something which can not be stolen away by getting ill or even having to die. It requires that you sit down and reflect about yourself and your own motives. And in that you change your position about your relation ship to life around you. And it is not to expect ourselves to become wonderful people suddenly, that is ridiculous. It is impractical. Whether we have a great white flash and we are all transformed, and become god's blessed child or whatever, that is impractical, it's not going to happen. But if in our mind we change a little in our perspective, those things are major because then we are changed. And maybe after five years we will be different. Just little cracks in the shell of our personality! Good things!
There are ways of getting something into that crack and making it bigger sometimes! And one of them is to think over the benefits and joy of being a kind hearted person. And look at it in the light of reality, that we are very materialistic and what does our materialism do to us! So that is a little more thought on what is possible with being a more and hearted person. Alright?
The next type of meditation to follow through on the previous one is something that once the Dalai Lama took myself and another English fellow through it and it was fun. We went for a private interview. The other fellow had some questions, I got to tag along. One of his questions was to say how can you really trade positions with another person? Like they speak of love and compassion, working for the benefit of others. Those are pretty incredible things. So how do you really do it. And so His Holiness sat down and for ten or fifteen minutes talked about it. And he said, you have to become a little detached from yourself. Step out of your body. Each one of you now has to project yourself like you are up in the middle of the room right there. And you are looking down on these nine bodies that are in the room. Alright. And they are all sitting around the room listening to this guy over here talk. And then you have to then take this one body, and you have to identify your own little body in that room. Put it on one side of a scale. You should wrap it in a lot of self importance and self-centered needs. That person feels a lot of very important needs alright? And then on the other side put the other eight bodies. And then you look at it and say, all these beings want happiness and none of them want the slightest bit of suffering. Now, realistically, if this one over here was crying for help, like I want something, I want food, money,... and then you listen over here and all these others are also saying I want money, I want happiness, I want love, and you look at the two, to what group would you go and give help to if you could?
There is one over here who is crying quite loudly and making lots of noise. But there is eight people over here on the other side. If you make it that there is two rooms in front of you, and you have a plate of food to give, which room would you go in first? Realistically? Obviously you would go to the room with the eight people because there are more needs there. There is one person there but if in one movement you could help eight people, and if you go in that room you are only helping one, that one person might take more than they deserve, so when you do get into the other room well, a lot is gone. Whereas in the room with more it will be divided up equally and and each will get a little bit and you can put a little aside for the one person and go over and take care of that other person.
So if you think about it realistically that reality would say that you would work for more people if you had the opportunity. Because our nature is that way. If we have an open mind, we obviously want to help more than just one or two. So if that is the case, when you come back to reality and look at yourself, then you should really appraise your self cherishing. Your attitude which says that I want happiness and so on, ask if it is realistic.
Should I allow my deciding factor to follow through on those or should I work for the happiness of the many people around. And maybe for example everyone else got a chocolate cookie first. And then allow myself to eat it, you know. And in that way you are knocking part of the cause of not being able to love other people, which is self cherishing. Your self cherishing is the principle reason why you have not been able to be kind hearted to other people. Because you are terribly concerned about your own needs. You could say if we do it in a dualistic manner, that you have been listening to your own yammerings and things more than you have been listening to what everyone else has been doing. Everyone else has been doing it just as loud as you have, it is just that you have never listened to it before. You have never opened your mind to the fact that others want happiness, want love! Want to be cherished by other people and such. They want those sorts of things in their life! Just as much as you do. But we never listen to that. We never thought that person over there needs love. That person needs a hug. That person over there needs money. Whatever. We never think about those things.
Because we don't think about them, we only live for our own needs, and so we have been living a very self centered self cherishing life. And what has it done for us? If we were realistic and looked at reality on a larger scale, we would have a much stronger feeling for working for other people's happiness. And I wouldn't be concerned about one little sentient being's making so much noise. I would be more concerned with the others around them.
So that is the meditation. To spend time. And you can do it with your own family. You take a family of five people, project yourself above and use a scale. Put three or four on one side and one person on the other. Look at it! Think about it! Do they all really want happiness? Hear what they all want. Then look at the one over there and say, hey, same thing. So if I am gong to be a truly open minded honest democratic person, which group would I work for? And in that way you hassle your self cherishing. You crack that shell a little on self cherishing. On insensitivity. And those things which stop you from being a loving kind person. Alright!
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