Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/10/2017

Don’t Become Disillusioned

The worst suffering of animals and humans is a thousand times less severe than that of beings in the hell realms. If we become more aware of what it must be like to be a hell-realm being, we will never become disillusioned with our human existence, despite terrible illness, chronic pain, a miserable family life, or abject poverty.

Excerpt From: "Change of Heart: The Bodhisattva Peace Training of Chagdud Tulku" by Lama Shenpen Drolma.

How quick I am to anger and how ready am I to forgive myself an outburst without contemplating on the true extent of the harm I've done myself. May I recognize the precious opportunity of this human life and strive on to overcome anger, hatred and resentment by a variety of skillful means.

I've recently returned to counseling but it has become increasingly clear to me that so-called Western methods of talk therapy are based in a materialistic understanding of the mind and body. For my therapist, kamma and virtue aren't key factors and the resulting advice had proven to be more damaging than it is useful. Instead of advising patience, forbearance, loving-kindness and compassion my well-meaning therapist had counseled me to be combative, to look after my own "needs" at the expense of others and to pursue sense pleasures as a way of dealing with suffering.

In this short life, I can think of no higher purpose as a married layman than cultivating a kind and compassionate heart through selfless service. I tried therapy as a means to be a better husband and father but, clearly, it is not the way. Only by giving selflessly and guarding the hearty against resentment as anger can I hope to succeed.


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