How to Use Humiliation on the Path: Commentary by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Heart of Compassion” by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

ii. How to use humiliation on the path

The next section considers how we may deal with receiving humiliation in return for kindness.

17.

Even if my peers or my inferiors
Out of pride do all they can to debase me,
To respectfully consider them like my teachers
On the crown of my head is the practice of a bodhisattva. 

Someone with your own ability or status, or an inferior without any good qualities, might–despite being treated politely and considerately by you–criticize you contemptuously out of pure conceit and arrogance, and try to humiliate you in various ways. When such things happen, do not be angry or upset, or feel badly treated.

Instead, see and respect such people as kind teachers showing you the path to liberation. Pray that you may be able to do them as much good as possible. Whatever happens, do not wish for a moment to take your revenge. The capacity to patiently bear scorn and injury from those who lack your education, strength and skill is particularly admirable. To remain humble when patiently bearing insults is a very effective way of countering your ingrained tendency to be interested only in your own happiness and pleasure.

Never be proud, but instead take the most humble position and regard everyone as being above you, as though you were carrying them on your head. It is said, “Carrying all beings above one’s head is the torch and banner of the bodhisattvas.”

The great teacher Drom Tönpa Gyalwai Jugne would circumambulate even a dog on the side of the road, in recognition of the buddha nature that, like all beings, it possessed.

Change and Continuity: from “Journey to Enlightenment”

The following is respectfully quoted from “Enlightened Journey: the Life and World of Khyentse Rinpoche” by Matthieu Riccard:

Change and Continuity
The Spiritual Legacy

Transmission and continuity are key points in the Buddhist tradition. The living teachers must not die out; true spiritual realization must be imparted from teacher to disciple. Great Tibetan masters are not isolated mystics. Their wisdom, rooted in the fertile earth of their own confidence and perseverance, has slowly ripened in the sun of their teacher’s blessings and wisdom. There are many ways to please one’s teacher and repay his kindness, but the way considered best of all is to put his teachings into practice until genuine realization dawns in one’s own mind.

Of this way, Khyentse Rinpoche’s life was a perfect example. Besides his two main teachers, he studied with more than fifty outstanding masters from all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Having entirely integrated the teachings into his own being, he could then impart them to thousands of disciples. Among those disciples, a few became true holders of the teachings, his spiritual heirs, and are continuing the lineage today.

Trulshik Rinpoche, born in 1924, is not simply a lineage holder; he is also the principal depository of Khyentse Rinpoche’s “mind treasures,” as specifically predicted in the texts of these treasures. He is also the main bestower of monastic vows in the Nyingma lineages and has ordained several thousand monks.

in the 1960’s, after a pilgrimage to Namo Buddha in Nepal, Khyentse Rinpoche dreamt one night that he was climbing a lofty mountain. At the summit was a small temple. He entered, and inside, side by side, his own former teachers–the three main lamas of Shechen monastery: Shechen Gyaltsap Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam, and Shechen Kongtrul. Khyentse Rinpoche prostrated himself before them and, singing in sorrowful verse, asked them how they had suffered at the hands of the Chinese (all three of them having perished in Chinese jails in the early sixties). With one voice they replied, also in verse, saying, “For us birth and death are like dreams or illusions. The absolute state knows neither increase nor decline.” Khyentse Rinpoche expressed his wish to join them soon in the buddhafields, since he saw little point in remaining in a world where the teachings were vanishing fast and most teachers were but spurious impostors. At this point, Shechen Kongtrul, gazing at Khyentse Rinpoche with a piercing stare, said, “You must toil to benefit beings and perpetuate the teachings until your last breath. Merging into one, the three of us will come to you as a single incarnation, a helper to fulfill your aims.”

 

Friends and Enemies: Excerpt from “The Heart of Compassion…” commentary by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The following is an excerpt from “The Heart of Compassion: Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva”:

On a practical level, however, the mere fact that you feel compassion
for them is of no use whatsoever to all those beings. So, what can you
do to actually help them? You now have a human existence with all its
freedoms and advantages, and especially the immense fortune of having
encountered and started to practice the supreme Dharma. You have met
an authentic spiritual teacher and are in the process of receiving
teachings that will enable you to reach buddhahood in a single
lifetime. To make full use of this precious opportunity, you must not
only listen to the teachings but also put them into practice. That way
your feelings of compassion can be put to work, to the point that you
will eventually be able to bring all living beings to enlightenment.
As things are at present, however strongly you may want to help
others, you are a beginner and lack the capacity to do anything much
for them. The first step you need to take toward being really useful
to others, therefore, is to perfect yourself, by training and
transforming your mind.

The way you are now, your mind is powerfully influenced by the
clinging attachment you have to friends, relatives, and anyone who
brings you satisfaction, and by your hostile feelings toward whoever
seems to go against your wishes and toward all those who prevent you
from acquiring wealth, comfort, and pleasure and whom you therefore
regard with aversion as enemies. ln your delusion, you do whatever you
can to benefit yourself and those you like, and try to overcome and
eliminate all those you consider enemies with such aversion that you
can hardly bear even to hear their names. Over countless lifetimes you
have been dragged into samsara, this vicious ocean of existence, and
carried away by these strong currents of attachment and aversion.
Attachment and aversion are the very cause of samsara, the very reason
for our endless wandering in the circle of existence.

Consider carefully what you mean by friends and enemies. When you look
into it, it is obvious that there are no such things as permanent.
enduring friends or enemies. Those you think of as friends have not
always been so. Indeed, they may well have been your enemies in the
past, or they could become your enemies in the future. There is
nothing certain about it. Why should you be so compulsively attached
to particular people? Are not all your relationships temporary? In the
end, whatever may happen during your life, the time will come for you
to die. Then you will have no choice but to part from everyone,
regardless of whether you feel attachment or aversion for them. But
everything you have done in your lifetime, all those actions motivated
by attachment and aversion, will have created within you a force that
will then propel you to the next life, in which you will experience
their result.

So, if you want to travel the path to buddhahood, give up attachment
to friends and relatives, and hatred for enemies. Regard all beings
with impartial equanimity. If people now seem to be either friends or
enemies, it is just the result of past connections and actions. To
ascribe any solid reality to those  feelings of attachment and
aversion, arising as they do from mistaken and confused perceptions,
is just delusion. It is like mistaking a rope, lying in your path in
the twilight, for a snake-you might feel afraid, but that does not
mean your fear has any real basis. The rope never was a snake.

First, Study the Preliminaries: from “Enlightened Courage” by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “Enlightened Courage” by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

First study the preliminaries.

Consider all phenomena as a dream.
Analyse the unborn nature of awareness.
The antidote will vanish of itself.
The nature of the path rests in the alaya.
In post-meditation, consider phenomena as illusory.
Train to give and take alternately;
Mount them both upon your breath.
Three objects, three poisons and three roots of virtue.
In all your actions, train yourself with maxims.
Begin the training sequence with yourself.
When all the world is filled with evils,
Place all setbacks on the path of liberation.
Lay the blame for everyone on one.
Reflect upon the kindness of beings.
Voidness is the unsurpassed protection;
Thereby illusory appearance is seen as the four kayas.
The best of methods is to have four practices.
To bring the unexpected to the path,
Begin to train immediately.
The pith instructions briefly summarized:
Put the five stages into practice.
On how to die, the Mahayana teaches
These five strengths. It matters how you act.

All Dharma has a single goal.
Rely upon the better of two witnesses.
Always be sustained by cheerfulness.
With experience you can practice even when distracted.

Always train in three common points.
Change your attitude and maintain it firmly.
Do not discuss infirmities.
Do not have opinions on other people’s actions.
Work on the strongest of your defilements first.
Give up hoping for results.
Give up poisoned food.
Do not be hidebound by a sense of duty.
Do not meet abuse with abuse.
Do not wait in ambush.
Do not strike at weaknesses.
Do not lay the dzo’s burden on the ox’s back.
Do not praise with hidden motives.
Do not misuse the remedy.
Do not bring a god down to the level of a demon.
Do not take advantage of suffering.

Do everything with one intention.
Apply one remedy in all adversity.
Two things to be done, at the start and at the finish.
Bear whichever of the two occurs.
Even if it costs you your life, defend the two.
Train yourself in three hard disciplines.
Have recourse to three essential factors.
Meditate on three things that must not deteriorate.
Three things maintain inseparably.
Train impartially in every field;
Your training must be deep and all-pervading.
Always meditate on what is unavoidable.
Do not be dependent on external factors.
This time, do what is important.
Do not make mistakes.
Be consistent in your practice.
Be zealous in your training.
Free yourself by analysis and testing.
Don’t take what you do too seriously.
Do not be bad tempered.
Do not be temperamental.
Do not expect to be rewarded.

This distilled essence of instruction,
Which transmutes the upsurge of the five degenerations
Into the path of enlightenment,
Was handed down by Serlingpa.
Having roused the karma of past training,
And feeling powerfully inspired,
I disregarded suffering and censure
And sought out the instructions to subdue my ego-clinging;
Though I may die, I shall now have no regret.

Why Recite Mantra?

From HHDilgo Khyentse Rinpopche:

Why is it so important to recite Mantras and what are they? Just as we visualize ourselves as a deity and the surroundings as a buddha-field in order to purify our impure perception of form, we recite mantras to purify our impure perception of sound. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means “to protect the mind” since, while reciting mantras the mind is protected from its ordinary deluded thoughts. – HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

The General Preliminaries: by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Dilgo-Photo

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Excellent Path to Enlightenment” by His Holiness Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche:

The main source of progress on the path is devotion, so begin each session by visualizing in the sky before you, or above your head, your root teacher in the form of Guru Padmasambhava, resplendent with wisdom and smiling compassionately, seated in the midst of a mass of rainbow light. Then with fervent devotion say three times, “Lama Kyeno!” — “Guru, you know everything! I am in your hands!”–and ask him to bless you so that you achieve complete realization of the profound path this very life. Rays of light emanate from the Guru, removing the veil of ignorance and filling you with blessings.

Then reflect on the six topics that make up the outer or general part of these preliminaries. First, reflect upon the rarity of human existence; this will turn your mind towards the Dharma. Second, contemplate death and impermanence; this will make you realize how urgent it is to practice the Dharma, and will spur you to endeavor. Next, reflect on the third topic, the law of karma, of cause and effect, actions and their results, so that you understand clearly how this law works. After that, reflection on the fourth topic will help you recognize that the deluded condition of samsara is never without suffering. With the fifth, you should recognize that through receiving and practicing the teachings you can free yourself from samsara and ultimately reach the unsurpassable level of omniscience, or enlightenment. Finally, you should recognize that in order to achieve that level you have to rely on the blessings and instructions of a spiritual leader.

1. THE RARITY AND PRECIOUSNESS OF A HUMAN BIRTH

Ask yourself how many of the billions of inhabitants of this planet realize how rare it is to have been born a human being. How many of those who realize this think of using this chance to practice the Dharma? How many of these actually start to practice? How many of those who start continue to practice? How many of those who continue attain ultimate realization? The number of those who attain ultimate realization is like the number of stars you can see at daybreak compared to the number you can see on a clear night.

There are various kinds of human existence. Some are wasted in ordinary pursuits and some are used to progress towards enlightenment. Human birth can only be called precious when one is free to practice the Dharma and has met all the favorable conditions for doing so. So to have the opportunity to practice the Dharma we need to be free from the eight unfavorable conditions. These are: to be born in the hells, the realm of the pretas or hungry ghosts, the animal kingdom, among barbarians, among the long-lived gods or among those with erroneous views, or in a dark age where the Buddha has not appeared, or as someone who is mentally deficient and incapable of understanding the Dharma. But simply to be free from these is not enough. We also need ten favorable conditions, five that depend upon ourselves and five that depend upon others.

The five intrinsic conditions arising from our own situation are: to be born a human being, to be in a place where we can find the Dharma, to have all our faculties, not to live and act in a completely negative way, and to have faith in those worthy of faith.

We need to be born a human being, as this is the only state of existence in which there is enough suffering to give us an acute desire to be free from samsara, yet not so much suffering that we no longer have the opportunity to free ourselves through the practice of Dharma.

We need to be born in what is called a “central land,” meaning a place where the Buddha’s teachings exist. Otherwise, we have no chance of encountering these teachings and progressing along the path.

We need all our faculties so that we can study, reflect on, and practice the Dharma. If we were blind, for instance, we might not be able to read the teachings; if we were deaf, we would not be able to hear them.

We need to lead our lives in a positive way. If our lives are dominated by negative actions–if, for example, we are hunters or thieves, or spend our lives fighting wars–that naturally leads in the opposite direction from the positive conditions needed for Dharma.

We need to have faith and confidence in those who can guide us along the path to enlightenment, namely the Three Jewels and a spiritual teacher.

The five external conditions that depend upon others are: a Buddha must have appeared in the kalpa or aeon in which we are living; the Buddha must have taught the Dharma; the teachings must still be present; they must be practiced; and we must have a spiritual teacher to guide us.

Al this constitutes a human birth endowed with all the freedoms and favorable conditions for practicing the Dharma. That is what we call a precious human birth. Why is it precious? Because by using this human birth, enlightenment can be achieved in this very lifetime. All the great accomplished beings of the past were born ordinary beings, but, by entering the door of Dharma, following a realized teacher, and devoting their whole lives to practicing the instructions they received, they were able to display the enlightened activities of great Bodhisattvas.

If we examine the six realms of samsara one by one, we can see that, except in the human realm, the obstacles to Dharma practice are too strong. In the inferior realms such as the hells, suffering is so intense that it is impossible for the mind to contemplate and practice the teachings. In the celestial realms, where beings can fly through the sky, feed on ambrosia and enjoy all sorts of pleasures, the conditions might seem more favorable. But because the beings there are so enticed and distracted by these things, and their suffering is so minimal, they never get tired of samsara and therefore never think of practicing the Dharma. So if we do not use the precious opportunity of a human existence, we cannot but go downwards, like a stone rolling down a hill.

A Brief Biography of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche: Tulku Thondup

Dilgo_Khyentse_LH_med

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche” published by Shambhala Publications

A Brief Biography of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche by Tulku Thondup:

Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Tashi Paljor (1910-1991) was one of the few great lineage holders, writer, teachers, and transmiters of teachings and powers of Nyingma tantras in general and Longchen Nyingthig in particular who reached numerous disciples in Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan and the West.

He is also known as Gyurme Thekchok Tenpe Gyaltsen, Jigme Khyentse Özer, and Rabsel Dawa.

He was born on the thirteenth of the fourth month of the Iron Dog year of the fifteenth Rabjung (1910) in the family of Dilgo, a minister (nyerchen) of the king of Dege in the Nyö clan in Dan Valley. His father was Tashi Tsering. It was the very day that the great master Mipham Namgyal and his disciples were performing the feast ceremony at the completion of his one-and-a-half month teaching on his Commentary on Kalachakra at Dilgo. Mipham immediately gave pills of Sarasvati, the female Buddha of wisdom, with the sacred letters DHIH and HRIH to the baby to eat even before tasting his mother’s milk. About a month after the birth, Mipham gave empowerments for purification and longevity and named him Tashi Paljor. Since then until Mipham died at the beginning of 1912, Khyentse was given blessed substances continuously.

When he was only four months old, Ngor Pönlop Loter Wangpo recognized him as the tulku of Khyentse Wangpo. At the time of the death of Mipham, Shechen Gyaltsap Pema Namgyal (1871-1926) saw him and asked the family to give him to Shechen.

At the age of six, he was accidentally burned badly in a fire and was seriously ill for about six months, which caused him to take ordination as a novice.

When he was fifteen, Gyaltsap recognized him as a tulku of Khyentse Wangpo, enthroned him at Shechen Monastery, and named him Gyurme Thekchok Tenpe Gyaltsen. He also gave him numerous transmissions, including those of Dam-ngagk Dzö and Nyingthig Yabzhi. From Khenpo Pema Losal of Dzogchen he received transmission of Longchen Nyingthig. From Adzom Drukpa, he received teachings on Longchen Nyingthig Ngöndro.

With Khenpo Zhephen Chökyi Nangwa (Zhen-ga) of Dzogchen, Khenpo Thubten Chöpel (Thupga) of Changma hermitage, Dza Mura Asanga, Abhidharma, Yönten Dzö, the commentaries of Guhyagarbha-mayajala-tantra, and many others. Khenpo Thugpa recognized him as the tulku of Önpo Tenzin Norbu (Tenli).

Then from Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö he received the transmission of Sakya, Kagyu, Geluk and Nyingma teachings, including Rinchen Terdzö, Nyingthig Yahzhi, Longchen Nyingthig, and Lama Gongdu. From Khenpo Tendzin Dargye of Shechen he received transmission of the nine volumes of Jigme Lingpa. From Shechen Kongtrul (1901-1959) he received transmissions of the thirteen volumes of Minling cycle. He received teachings of all the Buddhist traditions of Tibet from over seventy teachers. Among them, Shechen Gyaltsap and Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö were his principle teachers.

Starting from the age of eighteen, for twelve years he stayed in solitary places and practiced various teachings, including Three-Root Sadhanas of Minling Terchen and Lonchen Nyingthig.

Throughout his life he dedicated himself to giving teachings and transmissions to all, whoever came to receive them. He wrote that by the age of sixty-four, he had given empowerments of Nyingthig Yabzhi and Longchen Nyingthig over tend times. From the age of forty till eighty-two he gave discourses on Chokchu Münsel, the commentary on Guhyagarbha by Longchen Rabjam at least once a year, and gave extensive commentaries on Jigme Lingpa’s Yönten Dzö. Among countless other teachings, he gave five times the transmission of the Rinchen Terdzö, four times those of the Nyingma Kama, and thrice that of Dam-ngak Dzö,  and twice that of Kanjur.

Rinpoche and his consort, Khandro Lhamo, had two daughters. His daughter Chime’s son is the seventh Shechen Rabjam.

At the invitation of the royal family of Bhutan, he spent years in Bhutan teaching and transmitting the teachings.

Since the early 1960’s, he single handedly maintained and propagated the unique nonsectarian tradition of Khyentses, and tirelessly with the continuity of a stream he spread the teachings by traveling, teaching, practicing, and building monuments without any pause, for the sake of Dharma and people.

In 1980 he built Shechen Dargye Ling Monastery (a name he took from his monastery in Tibet) at Bodhnath in Nepal, an elaborate complex with over two hundred monk-students. In 1988 he established a shedra at the new monastery, where monks are studying scholarly texts.

Starting in 1975, he visited many countries in the West many times and taught various levels of teachings and transmissions. Also he established Tekchok Ösal Chöling, a Dharma center in France. He visited Tibet three times from exile to teach and to help in rebuilding the monasteries and the faith in his homeland.

He conferred on the fourteenth Dalai Lama many empowerments and teachings on the commentaries of Guhyagarbha and Yönten Dzö and oral teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo combined with teachings on Yeshe Lama.

He discovered many teachings and sadhanas as terma and wrote many scholarly texts and commentaries on various subjects, totaling twenty-three volumes. Among his writings on Longchen Nyingthig are a commentary on Palchen Düpa and Wangki Chokdrik.

At the age of eighty-one, at three A.M. on the twentieth of the eighth month of the Iron Sheep year (September 28, 1991, his enlightened mind merged in to the ultimate openness at a hospital in Thimbu, the capital of Bhutan. Since then, his monastery in Nepal has been presided over by his Dharma heir and grandson, Rabjam Rinpoche, Gyurme Chökyi Senge.

He was one of the greatest learned and accomplished masters of Tibet of our age. He was tall and giant. When he was among other masters, he stood like a mountain in the midst of hills or shone as the moon among stars, not because of his physical prominence, but because of the breadth of his scholarship and depth of his saintliness. When he gave teachings, it was like the flow of a river, with hardly any pause. If strangers heard his lectures, their first impression might be that he was reading a beautiful text from memory, as the words of his talks were poetry, his grammar was perfect, and the meaning was profound.

Another most astonishing feature was his memory. He remembered not only scholarly and liturgical texts and details about his teachers and friends, but also those people whom he had seen only once years earlier.

His kindness was boundless, and there was room for everybody. Whenever I had an audience, he gave me the feeling that there was a place for me reserved in his vast mind. If you watched carefully, you got the feeling that he was always in the meditative or realized wisdom of openness and reaching out to people with the power of compassion, love, and directness, without any alteration.

He practically held the transmissions of all the Buddhist teachings of Tibet, but was constantly searching for additional transmissions, no matter how minor they might be. He had a huge library collection, but never stopped looking for even a page of rare writing. He was also immensely loyal.

In his last trip from Bhutan to Kalimpong, instead of flying he insisted on making the arduous journey by car in order to see an old disciple of his on the way. While that effort might have exhausted the last drops of his physical strength, it would have been his joy and fulfillment, an act of compassion.

Urgyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup (b.1993), the grandson of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1919-1996) and the son of Kela Chokling Rinpoche and Dechen Paldron of Terdhe, has been enthroned as the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was one of the great Lamas who recognized Ahkon Lhamo Rinpoche

Taking On Suffering: Story of Maitriyogin and the Dog’s Pain

DogInPain

The following is respectfully quoted from “Enlightened Courage” by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

There is a story that one day, when Maitriyogin was teaching, a dog barked at someone, who, losing his temper, threw a stone at it. The dog was hit in the ribs and yelped. Feeling great sorrow for the animal, the teacher cried out and fell down from the throne. “This is taking things a bit too far,” thought his disciples. Knowing what was in their minds, Maitriyogin said, “Look here, at my ribs.” And on his body, exactly where the stone had hit the dog, he had a bruise. He had taken the suffering of the animal upon himself.

The Motivation of a Bodhisattva

As long as space endures, and as long as sentient beings exist.
May I, too, remain, to dispel the misery of the world.  -Shantideva

The following is respectfully quoted from the Preface of “Enlightened Courage” by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

Bodhisattvas are those who seek enlightenment for the sake of all other beings. Their path is the way of selflessness whereby the mind is trained to go beyond its ordinary self-centered preoccupations and anxieties and learns, by gradual degrees, to place others at the focus of its interest and concern. This altruistic attitude forms the basis and heart of all the Buddha’s teaching of Mahayana, or Great Vehicle…

 

Working with Anger and Ingratitude: Commentary by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “Enlightened Courage” a commentary by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

No evil is similar to anger,
No austerity to be compared to patience.

Never give way to anger, therefore. Be patient–and, moreover, be grateful to someone who humiliates you, as they give you a precious opportunity to strengthen your understanding and practice of bodhicitta. The great Jigme Lingpa said:

Ill treatment by opponents
Is a catalyst for meditation;
Insulting reproaches you don’t deserve
Spur your practice onward;
Those who do you harm are teachers
Challenging your attachment and aversion–
How could you ever repay their kindness?

Indeed, you are unlikely to make much spiritual progress if you lack the courage to face you own hidden faults. Any person or situation that helps you to see those faults, however uncomfortable and humiliating it may be, is doing you a great service. As Lord Atisha says,

The best spiritual friend is one who attacks your hidden faults.
The best instructions are the ones that hit your hidden faults.
The best incentives are enemies, obstacles, and sufferings of illness.

and the Kadampa master Shawopa used to warn his disciples as they came to see him, saying, “I only show people their hidden defects. If you can avoid getting annoyed, stay; but if not, go away!”

Of the eight ordinary concerns, therefore, even from the relative point of view there are many ways of eliminating the distinction between the good an bad, those you want to happen and those you do not. From the point of view of absolute truth, there is not the slightest difference between gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and disgrace, praise and disparagement. They are all equal, all empty by nature. As Shantideva says:

Thus, with things devoid of true existence,
What is there to gain, and what to lose?
Who is there to pay me court and honors,
And who is there to scorn and revile me?

Pain and pleasure–whence do they arise?
And what is there to give me joy and sorrow?

b. Using on the path the two things that are difficult to bear.
The two things that are difficult to bear are (i) being wronged in return for kindness and (ii) humiliation.

i. How to use on the path being wronged in return for kindness

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Even if one I’ve lovingly cared for like my own child
Regards me as an enemy,
To love him even more,
As a mother loves a sick child, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If you do something good for others, it is a mistake to expect anything in return, or to hope that people will admire you for being a bodhisattva. All such attitudes are a long way from the true motivation of bodhicitta. Not only should you expect nothing in return; you should not be disturbed in the slightest when people respond ungratefully. Someone for whom you have risked your very life may return your kindness with resentment, hatred, or harm. But just love him all the more. A mother with an only child is full of love for him no matter what he does. While she is suckling him, he may bite her nipple and badly wound it, but she will never get angry or love him any less. Whatever happens, she will continue to care for him as best she can.

Many people do not have the good fortune that you enjoy of having met a spiritual teacher, and thus cannot find their way out of delusion. They need your help and your compassion more than anyone else, no matter how badly they may behave. Always remember that people who harm you are simply the victims of their own emotions. Think how good it would be if they could be free of those emotions. When a thoughtless child wrongs a thoughtful adult, the adult will not feel resentment, but will try with great love to help the child improve.

To meet someone who really hurts you is to meet a rare and precious treasure. Hold that person in high esteem, and make full use of the opportunity to eradicate your defects and make progress on the path. If you cannot yet feel love and compassion for those who treat you badly, it is a sign that your mind has not been fully transformed and that you need to keep working on it with increased application.

A true bodhisattva never hopes for a reward. He responds to the needs of others spontaneously, out of his natural compassion. Cause and effect are unfailing, so his actions to benefit others are sure to bear fruit–but he never counts on it. He certainly never thinks that people are not showing enough gratitude, or that they ought to treat him better. But if someone who has done him harm later changes his behavior, is set on the path, and achieves liberation, that is something that will make a bodhisattva rejoice wholeheartedly and be totally satisfied.

 

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