Mar 31, 2019
Suffering happens. Sometimes people experience periods of chronic suffering, as when a loved one passes away or a physical illness debilitates them. We must find a way to transform our suffering into something meaningful. The practice of karma therapy provides three ways to meaningfully transform suffering. These ways of thinking apply to lesser pain, like a frustrating coworker, as well as deeper and long-term suffering.
A fool conscious of her foolishness
Is to that extent wise.
But a fool who considers himself wise
Is the one to be called a fool. (63)
A fool associating with a sage,
Even if for a lifetime,
Will no more perceive the Dharma
Than a spoon will perceive the taste of soup.
A discerning person who associates with a sage,
Even if for a brief moment,
Will quickly perceive the Dharma,
As the tongue perceives the taste of soup. (65)
Fools with no sense
Go about as their own enemies,
Doing evil deeds that
Bear bitter fruit. (66)
No deed is good
That one regrets having done,
That results in weeping
And a tear-streaked face. (67)
A deed is good
That one doesn’t regret having done,
That results in joy
And delight. (68)
As long as evil has not borne fruit,
The fool thinks it is like honey.
But when evil does bear fruit,
Then the fool suffers. (69)
The foolish ascetic who month after month
Eats food with the tip of a blade of grass
Is not worth a fraction
Of a person who has fathomed the Dharma. (70)
Like fresh milk,
Evil deeds do not immediately curdle;
Rather, like fire covered with ash,
They follow the fool, smoldering.(71)
The Dhammapada, by Buddha. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 16-18
Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 1. Pages 297-301. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor.