Annual India Tours
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt
gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity.
These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
AUGUST 21, 1990
I will try to end the set of teachings tonight on love and compassion and that whole transformative process. How to change one's ego position.
Since the beginning of the whole series, we have covered things like being more conscious of love and compassion, for example the love of our mother as shown to us as children. And that if we didn't have our parents, more particularly our mother, involved in our existence, then all of our qualities wouldn't have been developed as it would have been. And so we can say that of all beings in this lifetime, our mother is the; most precious one. She has given us our body, and generally spent the majority of time bringing us into the world, caring for us. And so we can say in some way, selfless love has been most greatly demonstrated to us by our mother. And so it is termed heart warming love which is remembering and realizing just how much time and energy our mother did spend on us. That was the opening theme we had.
And from there we moved into becoming more conscious and realizing that ourselves and other sentient beings are equal in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. And so we dwelt on that for quite a while, just becoming conscious that all sentient beings are equal. It's called the equanimity meditation. In realizing the equanimity of self and others. We all want happiness and none of us want suffering.
From there we progressed further into realizing that actually all the causes of happiness that we have in our life come from relationships with others, and all the sufferings we have really arise from our own selfishness. As our selfishness becomes more predominant, then we have more causes for argument with others, more disagreements and such. But we studied that, if we had an opened attitude of sharing with others, we have much more causes of joy, happiness, fulfillment, and many other things. And so starting to recognize that selfish attitude causes more suffering, and an attitude where we are more in harmony, at least open to be in harmony with others, is more productive with happiness with ourselves. So we dwelt with that.
From there, we moved into then finally learning how to exchange self for others. In that, the process was realizing that on this very firm basis that our self cherishing is a problem. And when we place that in our heart, it is like a black energy. And we visualize with our breath taking in others suffering, having it break our self cherishing, and then from warmth and love in our heart we exhale out love and happiness to other sentient beings.
And in that way we have come from a lot of different ways working with your ego, trying to soften your ego down, trying to make your personality become more realized that the real source of happiness is a relationship with others. At least being open to that. And if you can actually enact it. And that love and compassion are really the principle activities of the world. It's from a Buddhist ideal we say that nirvana is personal peace, personal ever lasting bliss. And so in that there nothing. That in itself. If you strive for nirvana, then you have perfect internal bliss, but you have a complacent attitude outside. And so it is important to develop a very natural love and compassion because then that overcomes the complacency.That love and compassion is what causes you and motivates you to act in the world. And it is a cause of all happiness in the world. I think it is easy to say, they say if you have a selfish person and a kind person, we all automatically like the kind person so obviously selfishness does not have any benefit in this world.
All of that brings us to the immediate moment which is to say we have lots of fuel for transforming our attitude and working on ourselves to become more compassionate people. So the final thing to touch on is this! That your mind is the creator of how you experience reality. Your mind is the source of how you experience reality. And we are involved in a little idealism. Because we are setting as the ideal a very positive attitude which is love and compassion. Love and compassion sees the world in a positive manner. It doesn't mean that it paints it so it doesn't see the world at all. Like you don't wear pink glasses and so you see everything as colored. Rather it means that you always see the potential in everything. When you work with a very difficult person, sure the person is difficult! Sure you have to be very patient! But in your mind you hold the idea that there is potential. The potential has to be nurtured out of them. So it is a positive attitude. When you start to become more conscious of the equanimity of self and others, that is a terrific really basic realization of the foundation of a positive attitude. Because you are realizing that I am equal with all others. All others are equal with me. So again, it is a positive vision of realizing that we are all in the great equanimity of being equal in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering.
So the ideal is a positive attitude. What we want to then say is alright, we have the ideal, but the one final quality of the whole ideal of positive attitude is to say that your mind, in a really sort of pragmatic fundamental way, creates karma. And if you think of that you venerate this positive attitude, saying this positive attitude is quite wonderful, this positive attitude can be the source of me overcoming fear, paranoia, hostility, anger. If I really have been able to transform myself, being able to enact a lot of these ideals, then this positive attitude is a very wonderful thing. And I really venerate it. I think it is a good thing! I want it! And when I become unhappy I can start to identify my self cherishing, my selfishness is doing it, and therefore I need to be more positive and then I won't suffer in this way. So we start to venerate the positive attitude.
Now then, as you start to move into that, into saying it would be nice to be more positive, I would be a lot more happier, people around me would be more happy, my life would be much more comfortable, much more enjoyable. So from there then, you say, I am going to be positive. So you have an attitude which says from your mind's side, and we are talking about mind is the creator which says I am going to be good to Herman, Shirley or Tom, this and that, and I have a thought. The karmic formation there is I and maybe one or two people which I really like a lot, I am going to be really kind to them. And so what you have set up is a karmic pattern saying maybe those people close to me, I am going to be good to. But we really don't make our attitude big. We are a little small. And there is nothing wrong with that! We are limited people in a sense.
But, we have to start to be aware of our mind creates our reality. I mean, how I have experienced life and how I have developed to this moment, then gives me how I am karmicly experiencing this moment. So as I become more conscious that I have an opportunity to create myself pretty much the way I want to, it is not a sudden thing that you become a wonderful person, but you understand the ideals, the principles that karma is definite. And if I definitely put myself into al positive mode, it creates better things for me. As time passes I become more familiar to it. It becomes deeper. And within that there is in buddhist terms, you collect the good karma of that positive attitude.
Now as I said, the creation though is I am working for one or two or three people that I like a lot. And they are easy to work with. And the better I like them the easier it is. And we all sort of know that they are never going to do anything nasty to me. We all get really chummy and everything seems very wonderful. But you have to remember that, you want to create a positive attitude. You want to actually create a really high quality karma with that positive attitude. And by what I mean of high quality karma, is that in the way that you set up what you are doing, you have a lot of options. Because your mind is the creator of your reality. If you have a narrow idea that I am going to help the people of Vancouver Island or only caucasians or something, then you understand that there is some limitations there. The mind is a little limited in it's positive attitude. The potential of it's positive attitude is a little closed. And then maybe you start to realize that I should be more open and the natives can do with some help. There is a big Chinese community on the Island and a large Sihk community too. And so I am going to be a little more open minded and be helpful and supportive for them too! And you start to open your mind!
But what you need to be conscious of is what you are doing is, in karma there is you the subject, there is the object which is the person you interact with, and then there is the karma being created within those two. In this particular sense the karma between those two is your positive attitude. So that is the one which is creating the karma. The attitude. And if you set it up with saying that I am only going to work with the people that I know, then the karma created from that isn't that wonderful! It's good, very good karma, but there is sort of a bias in the mind. And if you sort of realize that actually your mind is the creator, and if you can create a more and more opened mind, then it will actually upgrade your source of happiness for you. And a greater source of the creation of that positive attitude, a greater potential there. A greater possibility there. And especially if you delve into the ultimate nature of reality, from the Buddhist terms which says that the whole phenomenal universe is interdependant. Meaning that I am an integral part of this interdependent phenomenal universe. I am part of it. I am not separate from it. I breathe the air. I interact with other people. I have to eat the food of the earth. And that earth has to depend on all the other factors, the physics of the planets, the system and the whole nine yards! The whole matrix of the universe, and I are integrally inter connected.
If you realize that, and then you say, alright, the nature of reality is that there is the one nature of reality which is that all things are interdependent. And then, I am creating karma. Now if my mind has a potential to create any reality, I obviously would like to create the best reality. Like a reality which is closer to truth. Like I say, if you have a bias, and if you have a prejudice, you limit your mind. So if you think about what is possible, you are really saying that my mind can do anything but I am only going to do this! And that is really limiting. It is like you have this wonderful possibility and you are only taking advantage of a little of it. So you should hassle yourself that way and say, I have a really good opportunity to create good karma. High quality karma. By that I mean, have a universal attitude. And so the final teaching in love and compassion is that. It is to say to yourself that if I want to experience the fullness of my positive attitude, I have to bring myself to a universal attitude. If I don't, I am creating good karma but it is a limited trip. I am creating a limited thing. I am not creating the full potential. And at some later lifetime if I actually did allow myself to become more positive and allow myself to be more of a universalist, then I would be a wonderful person.
And you don't think ego centric like I will be some wonderful person. You think like, that love and compassion and harmony and the wonderful feelings that we have, that those will be part of my nature. And at that point, at a later point when they are more mature in me, automatically I will be magnetizing people to be with me and I will certainly will be having that philosophy. I mean whether I put it with Buddhist overtones, new age overtones, whatever overtones, it doesn't matter. The philosophy is basically being universal, being open and compassionate, considerate for all sentient beings. That is high quality karma. A lot higher karma that just saying I am only working for a certain set little bunch of people.
So the final teaching is that. That you should be very careful in creating the karma. You have some wonderful teachings there. Some really terrific teachings on how to generate love. How to generate a positive attitude. And it is you best weapon against negativity. That personal selfish negativity, or other people's negativity. That positive attitude, that love and compassion.
So if I am going to be working in that area, why don't I work in the most positive constructive way possible? The universal attitude saying that I am working for all sentient beings. And although maybe I work particularly with my mother and father, brother and sister, my wife and my children, the thing is in your mind you say, I am not only working for you. I am working to every other person that could be represented by you. I am working for the totality. And if you can you try to expand your attitude into working also for little bugs. I mean there is lots of bugs around us all the time. And so having compassionate attitude, a positive attitude with the bugs and insects around you, and the birds, animals etc. All those creatures. And the thing is what you are really going at is, you are saying that I as a conscious entity have limitless possibility with my positive attitude. And that is what enlightenment is. The final outcome of the whole process is enlightenment, the state of Buddhahood. Personally fully realized nirvana which is everlasting bliss and fulfillment. On the other side, a spontaneous manifestation of love and compassion for all sentient beings no matter who they are when they interact with the Buddha.
Like I say, if we can meet the Buddha right now, we wouldn't have to have any concerns or worries that the Buddha has a limited thing. The Buddha will accept any sentient being no matter what the sentient being is at their level in helping them from where they are at. Alright? So that is the ultimate expression of this whole positive attitude process.
So in my karmic creation with the positive energy of love and compassion, all I am saying to you is, be conscious of the karma that you are creating. And try to make it more and more universal. The more universal you make it, the more it has quality. And the outcome of that for you is that finally you one day will become enlightened. And in your enlightenment you will have the full enlightenment which means that you are a completely unbiased, unprejudiced mind. A mind of universal love and compassion which we would always term for the Godhead, whatever it is, the Christian God, or Buddha, or Allah or whoever it is. The entity there, if we really appreciate what so called quality should be, it should be universal acceptance of everyone. And the capacity to help all sentient beings whomever they are.
So if that is what we appreciate as being the ultimate ideal of our spiritual practice, that can happen for us here and now in a very realistic way. By just realizing that it is based on my karmic creation and if I really want to create good karma, I want to create high quality karma and that is being as universal as I can in my attitude.
So that is really the final teaching. To initiate within yourself an awareness which is saying I am trying to be a universalist. And the universalist in my positive attitude. Alright? Some of you havn't had the teachings, but all of the teachings you have had in the past in this series, apply at any time, whether you are just making equanimity between yourself and another. But when you do it, have that quality which says that this is universal. It applies to all. In that way you create a broader mind, a high quality mind. And if I think of if you look at it, it is just talking about you. We are not talking about your car. We are not talking about your stereo system. We are talking about your personality. And if you have the option to create any sort of personality that you can, then obviously if there are options, you want a high quality personality. You want a wonderful personality. You want the best of personalities that you could offer. Something that is sincere, warm, caring, clear minded, intelligent with wisdom. All of those wonderful things. All that which really turns into a beautiful mind comes from a universal attitude and the teachings of love and compassion. And in Buddhism we term that Bodhicitta. So it is the development of the bodhicitta and bodhicitta with an ultimate flavour to it or a universal flavour to it.
So the meditation for this evening is just that. What is your perspective for you personality right now? What sort of karma do you create? Like when you get up in the morning do you think of well for my group I am gong to try to be a good person? Or of the people that are going to come over and visit me, I am going to try to be nice for them. Or the people that I work with I am going to try to be nice to them. And each one of those you are working with just a limited attitude. You are saying that I am only going to work with these ones. What you do is you merely adjust you attitude and say when these people come over to visit me today, I am going to give them a wonderful time. But in my mind I am going to say just as I give these people a wonderful time, I wish I could give all sentient beings a wonderful time. So all you have done is you have just taken the same action but your mind is opened a bit further. It is just a little more universal. A little bit more wide open.
And it turns into that finally then, you in all your interactions will have a really opened attitude. And if you have really created the proper places in your mind like having the realizations strongly, equanimity of self and others, then you don't get angry at other people. Because you realize that just like they want happiness, I want happiness. Just like like suffering, I don't want to suffer. So when they get angry, I will give them space to be angry because right now they are unhappy. I will let them ventilate. When they have ventilated I will try to be helpful to them. So you understand. There are all sorts of terrific tools or you could term them weapons to work with negativity. All those work fine. But try to be more conscious and like I say the meditation is more conscious of how does your attitude, how do you set yourself up? Are you setting yourself up limitedly? Like in a limited manner? Because if you are, that's alright. You are still positive. But are you creating the highest quality karma that you could create?
All it is is your mind. And your mind created your reality up to this point. All you have to do is just crack it open a little bit and say let's be universalist. And you create a really high quality karma. Like I say, you create the karma which makes it that as you mature you become a really open minded person, a really warm person. And like I say, it doesn't matter if a leper comes up to you and you can say alright. Someone with Aids comes up to you. That is a heavy one! You think that this could make me ill, and I could die! How do you work with that? If you have never thought about it, all of a sudden you have a lot of mental gymnastics to make yourself be positive. There is someone who is walking death for you maybe, if somehow you were to be contaminated. So if you create already a positive attitude, it doesn't take too much to switch over. If you haven't, then maybe your positive attitude has a major stumbling block and you have to work with it.
There is lots of goodness in this sort of meditation. And the goodness is really trying to put you in the most positive position that you can create for yourself because you are creating your reality in every moment. So you try to create the best quality reality that you can which is universalist attitude with a a positive quality to that.
To make the meditation effective for yourself, you have to recognize that if you like the idea of a positive attitude, of love and compassion, which is the quality of that positive attitude, if you like it, then already you are idealizing it. You are saying hey, that is pretty good! So if you recognize that in yourself, then you have a powerful reason for why thinking about how does your mind create the karma involved in that positive attitude? And in that way then you have a very real reason of why you maybe like to create the quality attitude rather than a Mickey Mouse or unclear thought out attitude, alright?
So that is a few thoughts on how to help work with yourself in the meditation. And if you come to a very good conclusion, a very good realization in this meditation, just hold that and try to make yourself very integrated with that level of realization.
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