“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer.
When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.
Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
~ Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
Whether others are beautiful or ugly, benevolent or cruel, they are all sentient beings like us. And like us, they want to be happy and not suffer, which is their right, just like us. Recognizing that all beings are equal in their aspirations and their right to happiness, we feel a sense of empathy that brings us closer to them. As we get accustomed to this impartial altruism, we finally experience a sense of universal responsibility.
Summarized and adapted from Les voies spirituelles du bonheur, Presses du Chatelet, Paris, 2002; Points Sagesse, Seuil, 2004. English version: The Compassionate Life, Shambhala 2003
FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA, TENZIN GYATSO (B. 1936)
I want to share this beautiful piece from Pure Land Sutras. It is a long but worthy read, enjoy!
Continue To Read: Epic Poem: The Odyssey of Dharmakara
𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑭𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒖𝒓𝒆, 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒓𝒆𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆. 𝑰 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆𝒕𝒚. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆, 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒐 𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒂𝒅. 𝑰𝒕 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍. 𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝑰 𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒅. 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒇𝒖𝒍. 𝑭𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒔𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝑰 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒎𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆𝒕𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒇 𝑰 𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈.
𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒓 𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒈𝒏𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒐 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒊𝒄 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒃𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔. 𝑶𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒖𝒓𝒆, 𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉, 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒏. 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒍𝒖𝒄𝒌𝒚 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆. 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒌 𝑰 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏. 𝑳𝒆𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒈𝒐.
𝑳𝒆𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒈𝒐…..
“𝑷𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈. 𝑶𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓.” 𝒕𝒉í𝒄𝒉 𝒏𝒉ấ𝒕 𝒉ạ𝒏𝒉