• If you do not practice compassion, loving kindness and patience towards others
  • If you do not cultivate these healthy minds, these positive, beneficial thoughts for the sake of yourself and all other sentient beings.
  • If you don’t make an effort to develop these positive attitudes, you are just being yourself; you are allowing yourself to be your old self. Your old self follows your ego and self-centered mind and thinks only of your own happiness and nothing else.

From beginningless time, in every rebirth, your old self has been under the influence of ego and self-centeredness, the unhealthy, uptight, unpeaceful mind. Your old self’s heart is closed, not open. Your old self works only for your own happiness and cares nothing for the needs of others. Your old self does not think that you are responsible for the happiness of others, that your happiness comes from others and that their happiness depends upon you. Your old, self-centered mind thinks only of your own happiness and nothing other than that.

So "being yourself" means just this—being your old self. Instead of practicing those positive minds, you do just the opposite. You follow disturbing thoughts such as attachment and anger, which offer your mind no peace, no rest, no realization—only agitation, trouble and unhappiness. There’s no holiday for your mind. Even if you take your body on vacation, there’s no vacation for your mind, no rest and relaxation for your mental continuum. The result of continually following your old self—ego, attachment and anger—is that you never find satisfaction. These thoughts can never bring you satisfaction, no matter for how many eons you follow them. This is simply the nature of attachment.

As Guru Shakyamuni Buddha said, "As long as you follow desire you will never be satisfied." It’s like sitting in a fire. As long as you sit in a fire you will never experience the pleasure of not being burnt. If you long to be comfortable and cool, you have to get out. In just the same way, as that is logical, so is it logical that as long as you follow attachment you will not find inner peace, true satisfaction, real rest. There’s no vacation for your heart. That’s the old self at work. When the Rolling Stones sang, "Well, I tried and I tried, I tried and I tried—I can’t get no, satisfaction," they were actually giving a lam-rim teaching; a lam-rim teaching with guitar accompaniment. They were teaching meditation.

If you don’t have a good heart, if you have no satisfaction, which can be experienced only by not following the painful minds of desire and attachment—if you don’t develop loving kindness and compassion, then even if you do take a break from your job and take your body to the beach, there’s no rest for your mind. There’s no peace within your mental continuum because you have taken with you your attachment and anger and the constant problems they create. Because you lack a good heart and cannot dedicate yourself to others, there’s no fulfillment in your heart. Because of the disturbing emotional thoughts of attachment and anger, you get no satisfaction and experience constant problems.

Your emotional thoughts are the foundation of all problems. They themselves are the main problem. Because of them, you have no inner peace and cannot enjoy your life. Even though externally it might look as if you’re enjoying yourself, as if you’re experiencing excitement and pleasure, when you look into your heart, you know that there’s always something missing. Only by giving up, cutting, freeing yourself from, disturbing emotional thoughts such as the painful mind of attachment, can you find satisfaction in your heart, in your inner life. If you can stop being your old self, if you can stop following the beginningless discriminating thoughts of attachment and anger, stop forming the thought of anger, stop transforming the mind that was not angry into one that wants to harm others, you will never have enemies. Wherever you go, you will never find an enemy trying to harm you.

Eliminating enemies

What do you do when you encounter someone who doesn’t love you, who’s angry at you? You practice patience. Instead of interpreting that person’s actions as negative, or harmful, you interpret them as positive, or beneficial. Instead of thinking how harmful it is that the person is angry at you, doesn’t love you, think how beneficial, how necessary, how useful it is. Just as you feel it important to have in your life someone who loves you, feel it just as necessary to have someone who doesn’t love you. Think how much you need the person who is angry at you. Feel that the person who dislikes you is just as precious as the one who has compassion for you. Instead of seeing it as negative, see it as positive, beneficial.

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1. This sound human body endowed with full leisure. An excellent vessel rare to be found Since now we have obtained one in no way deficient, lets work night and day without veering off course, to take a cross the ocean and free from samsara not only ourselves but all others as well. First listen, think hard, then do much meditation.

2. Remaining too long in one place our attraction to loved ones upset us, we’re tossed in its wake.

The flames of our anger towards those who annoy us consume what good merit we’ve gained in the past.

The darkness of closed-minded thought dims our outlook,

We lose vivid sight of what’s right and what’s wrong,

We must give up our home and set forth from our country.

3. Withdrawing completely from things that excite us, our mental disturbances slowly decline and ridding our mind of direction-less wandering attention on virtue will surely increase.

As wisdom shines clearer. The world comes in focus, our confidence grows in the Dharma we’ ve learned, live all alone far away in seclusion.

4. Regardless of how long spent living together, good friends and relations must some day depart,

Our wealth and possessions collected with effort are left far behind at the end of our life.

Our mind but a guest in our body’s guest house must vacate one day and travel beyond, cast away thoughts that concern but this lifetime.

The sons of the Buddhas all practice this way.

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