During this week’s talk in Denver, Rinpoche spoke about the conduct of a Bodhisattva (a being whom puts the welfare of others above him or herself) and how important it is to be mindful of body speech and mind in order to avoid harming ourselves and others.
Rinpoche discussed how hard it can be to maintain the mind of compassion and loving kindness when we or our loved ones are hurt or threatened. In fact, our reaction or response to such situations can give us some insight into our current state of mind and the quality of our practice.
In The Union of Dzogchen and Bodhichitta, when speaking about patience Rinpoche writes:
“..the most important one [types of patience] for us to practice at this stage is that of enduring pain inflicted by others. Most people would probably agree that it is extremely difficult to practice patience instead of allowing feelings of anger, victimization or revenge to arise.” (85)
He encourages his students to practice mindfulness and be ready to “apply the antidote” when faced with such situations.
When have you found yourself the most challenged? Do you try to “apply an antidote”? If so, what has your experience been? What practices have you found helpful?
I’ve found contemplating the Four Immeasurables, for example, to be very helpful when faced with challenging situations. Contemplating compassion and wishing that beings be free of the type of suffering I’m experiencing, can help me to loosen my fixation on my subjective experience and my self attachment. There is a great explanation of this practice in The Union of Dzogchen and Bodhichitta, Chapter 4. The prayer can also be found in The Medicine Buddha Sadhana:
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be separate from true happiness free from suffering.
May they abide in great equanimity, free from partiality and prejudice towards self and others.