Nov 23, 2019
We’ve been working for our own happiness our whole lives. Every action we’ve taken has been to create or restore happiness. If we have put all this effort into a singular objective—our own happiness—and we are still not happy and satisfied, then we must be using the wrong methods. The Buddha taught that our obsessive self concern, which seeks our own happiness alone, actually destroys the causes of happiness. Instead the Buddha advises that we open our heart and start working for the happiness of all living beings. This supremely altruistic intention makes our life meaningful and joyful. If we develop an unselfish wish for the happiness of all living beings, how do we fulfill this wish? The Buddha suggests that that the very best thing you can do for all beings is to become an awakened person yourself. This wish to become an enlightened being for the benefit of all is called bodhicitta. A person who has developed this spontaneous, unwavering wish is a bodhisattva. The practice for the week is the first training of the bodhisattva, equanimity. Equanimity is an equal, open hearted love for all things. No enemies. This episodes includes a meditation to develop equanimity and a mindfulness practice to train in it during daily life.
“If we truly wish to fulfill our highest potential—or even if we only want to achieve a certain mundane satisfaction in our daily life—then we must overcome this self-cherishing and dedicate ourselves as fully as possible to the welfare of others. This is the only way to achieve a completely opened heart, the only way to experience lasting happiness.”
Happy is the arising of buddhas;
Happy is the teaching of the true Dharma;
Happy is the harmony of the Sangha;
Happy is the ardent practice of those in harmony. (194)*
The merit of worshipping those worthy of worship, q.
Be they buddhas or disciples
Who have transcended their obsessive thinking,
Passed beyond sorrow and grief,
Gone to peace,
And who have nothing to fear,
Can never be calculated by any estimation.
—Buddha, The Dhammapada
Buddha. The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom. Translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita. Buddhist Publication Society Kandy, 1985. pp. 51.
Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 36.