The Wordly Life ~ Dalai Lama

December 25, 2011 Comments Off

The general procedure of narrow-minded worldly life is summed up by what are called “the eight worldly concerns”:

like/dislike

gain/loss

praise/blame

fame/disgrace

The worldly way of life is to be unhappy when the four unfavorable ones–dislike, loss, blame, and disgrace–happen to you or your friends, but to be pleased when these happen to your enemies. These results are
all based on how people act, whereas true love and compassion are based not on actions but on the crucial fact that these sentient beings want happiness and do not want suffering, like you, and thus are all equal.
Some actions are positive, and some are negative, but the agents of those actions are all sentient beings with aspirations to happiness. We always need to look from that angle. Actions are secondary, since they
are sometimes positive and sometimes negative–always changing–whereas there is never any change in the fact that beings want happiness and do not want suffering.

When a shocking event happens, whether during the day or when dreaming, our immediate response is “I,” not
Tibetan, not American, or any other nationality; not Buddhist, not Hindu, or any other system, but just “I.” This shows us the basic human level. On that important level all are the same. Little children do not
bother about religion and nationality, rich or poor; they just want to play together. At a young age the sense of oneness of humanity is much more fresh. As we grow older, we make a lot of distinctions; a lot of
artificial creations that are actually secondary become more important, and basic human concern diminishes. That is a problem.
Love thrown into bias by lust and hatred eventually must be stopped. Love influenced by afflictive desire necessarily brings with it hatred at what opposes it, and along with that comes jealousy and all sorts of
problems. Though lust itself does not directly harm, it indirectly brings about all the forces that harm. This is why the process of expanding love begins with developing equanimity, after which the main point is not whether a particular person is good or bad to you but the fact that the person is the same as yourself in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. Since this desire resides in all sentient beings, your awareness of it can apply to everyone, making the basis of your love very stable. Once you put the emphasis on their similarity to yourself, love has a solid foundation that does not vacillate depending
on temporary circumstances.
–from “How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships” by H.H. the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins

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