Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 03/07/2019

By My Own Hand

[In the home] there is quarreling and fighting. They do not separate, and there is always unhappiness and disharmony in their lives.

You may feel trapped in a heavy, awful situation of this kind and believe you have no escape; you may believe that the circum-stances are difficult or impossible to change. Though you may not be able to change the external circumstances, you can change how you use your mind.

One very effective thing you can do is to think: “All these problems have been given to me by my self-cherishing thought.” Give all these problems back to your self-cherishing thought. And then decide to experience your problems on behalf of others. This is the bravest, most powerful practice you can do.


Excerpt from: “Transforming Problems into Happiness” by Thubten Zopa.

Although it took me considerable mental gymnastics to understand the gist of this teaching it seems to me that it boils down to the fact that tanha (craving) for the pleasant is at the root of all the problems i experience. And this tanha is not amorphous and non-local but it arises with the delusion of self. I crave and then pass through the steps of dependent origination until I am reborn into suffering. This tanha and delusion along with the other defilements are my self-cherising thoughts and unless I take string measures to counteract then and supplant them with the brahmaviharas this suffering will continue unabated.

May I experience these problems for the benefit of all. May I ever recall that my suffering is the result of my own actions both now and in the past. There is no one else to blame and no one worthy of contempt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.