9012RE: Rigpa Glimpse of the Day
- Jun 1, 2006It is hypocrisy to say that all religions are the same. Different religions
have different views and fundamental differences. But it does not matter, as
all religions are meant to help in bringing about a better world with better
and happier human beings. On this level, I think that through different
philosophical explanations and approaches, all religions have the same goal
and the same potential. Take the concept[s] of the creator and self-creation
for instance. There are big differences between the two, but I feel they
have the same purpose. To some people, the concept of the creator is very
powerful in inspiring the development of self-discipline, becoming a good
person with a sense of love, forgiveness and devotion to the ultimate truth
- the Creator or God.
The other concept is self-creation: if one wants to be good, then it is
one's own responsibility to be so. Without one's own efforts one cannot
expect something good to come about. One's future is entirely dependent on
oneself: it is self-created. This concept is very powerful in encouraging an
individual to be a good and honest person. So you see, the two are different
approaches but have the same goal.
-- by H.H. the Dalai Lama, compiled and edited by Renuka Singh, from "Live
in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness", published by
Snow Lion Publications
I know very well from my own experience how hard it is to imagine taking on
the sufferings of others, and especially those of sick and dying people,
without first building in yourself a strength and confidence of compassion.
It is this strength and this confidence that will give your practice the
power to transmute the suffering of others.
This is why I always recommend that you begin the Tonglen practice for
others by first practicing it on yourself. Before you can send out love and
compassion to others, you must uncover, deepen, create, and strengthen them
in yourself, and heal yourself of any reticence or distress or anger or fear
that might create an obstacle to practicing Tonglen wholeheartedly.
To integrate meditation in action is the whole ground and point and purpose
of meditation. The violence and stress and the challenges and distractions
of this modern life make this integration urgently necessary.
How do we achieve this integration, this permeation of everyday life with
the calm humor and spacious detachment of meditation? There is no substitute
for regular practice, for only through real practice will we begin to taste
unbrokenly the calm of our nature of mind and so be able to sustain the
experience of it in our everyday lives.
If you really wish to achieve this, what you need to do is practice not just
as occasional medicine or therapy but as if it were your daily sustenance or
As we follow the teachings and as we practice, we will inevitably discover
certain truths about ourselves that stand out prominently: There are places
where we always get stuck; there are habitual patterns and strategies that
are the legacy of negative karma, which we continuously repeat and
reinforce; there are particular ways of seeing things�those tired old
explanations of ourselves and the world around us�that are quite mistaken
yet which we hold onto as authentic, and so distort our whole view of
When we persevere on the spiritual path, and examine ourselves honestly, it
begins to dawn on us more and more that our perceptions are nothing more
than a web of illusions. Simply to acknowledge our confusion, even though we
cannot accept it completely, can bring some light of understanding and spark
off in us a new process, a process of healing.
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