5 easy habits you must have.
In the same way that fostering our capacity for love helps to awaken bodhichitta, so does nurture our capacity for compassion. The emotional difficulty of compassion, however, is greater than that of loving-kindness since it calls for the capacity to experience suffering. It unquestionably calls for warrior training.
The nineteenth-century yogi Patrul Rinpoche advised envisioning creatures in anguish, such as an animal ready to be butchered or a human awaiting execution, to arouse compassion. He suggests putting ourselves in their shoes to make it seem more urgent.
His portrayal of a woman without arms watching as a roaring river takes her kid away is especially poignant. It is as awful to totally and personally experience another being’s sorrow as it would be to walk in that woman’s shoes. For the majority of us, the thought of such a thing is terrifying.
We might anticipate experiencing our fear of suffering when we practice developing compassion.
It takes guts to cultivate compassion. It requires calming down and allowing ourselves to approach what terrifies us calmly. To do this, one must maintain emotional suffering without constricting into aversion; one must allow fear to soften us rather than cause us to become resistant.
It might be challenging to even consider creatures that are suffering, much less take action to help them.
In light of this, we start with a practice that is rather simple. Making ambitions helps us develop fearlessness. We express the desire that all creatures, including ourselves and those we find objectionable, be free from pain and its causes.
Compassion as a Practice
WE CULTIVATE compassion to soothe our emotions, as well as to become more open and forgiving regarding the times and methods through which we experience emotional exhaustion.
We do the brave act of opening to sorrow without defending or chastising ourselves. This might be the discomfort that results from creating boundaries or from allowing another person’s or our own grief into our hearts.
From our mistakes as much as from our accomplishments, we may learn a lot about how to do this. We draw on the whole of our experience—our pain, our empathy, as well as our harshness and terror—when we are practicing compassion. This is how it must be.
The bond between the healer and the afflicted is not what compassion is. It is an equitable connection. We can only be present with the darkness of others when we have a firm understanding of our own darkness. When we acknowledge our common humanity, compassion becomes true.
We begin the practice of compassion where we are and gradually expand our capacity, just as we do with all the other practices of the four infinite characteristics. Finding our existing capacity to be viscerally affected by pain is where we begin.
We may list the people who make us feel compassionate. It may also include those we see on the news or read about in a book, as well as our grandson, sibling, and friend who is frightened to pass away.
Simply connecting with true compassion, wherever we may find it, is the goal. The three-step formula, “May I be free of pain,” may then be used. May you never experience pain. May pain end for us.
The formal seven-step procedure described in instruction 35 may also be used, substituting the phrases “May I be free from pain and the cause of suffering” with the ones we choose.
The aspiration practice of compassion is best carried out during a sitting meditation session, like all other bodhichitta practices.
Developing the Capacity to Celebrate
The circumstances for the development of bodhichitta improve when we cultivate our garden. We start to feel happy. It results from deliberately persevering with ourselves and starting to feel our tremendous warrior spirit.
It results from not giving up on ourselves. By engaging in bodhichitta practices, including training in rejoicing and gratitude, we also create the circumstances for joy to grow.
We may conduct this as a three-step aspiration practice, just as with the other infinite qualities: “May I not be cut off from the tremendous enjoyment free from pain.
May you not be cut off from the immense delight that is free from pain. May we not be cut off from the immense delight that is free from pain. We may also use a seven-stage procedure for this . Utilizing your own language is OK.
The appreciation and delight in these phrases pertain to connecting with the inner power of fundamental goodness and being grounded in the open, impartial character of our thinking.
To do this, however, we first look at conditioned instances of fortune, such as excellent health, rudimentary intellect, and a nurturing environment—the lucky circumstances that make up a priceless human birth. Being in an era when the bodhichitta teachings may be heard and practiced is the greatest benefit for the awakened warrior.
By developing the ability to celebrate our own good fortune, we may put the aspiration’s first step into reality.
The most important thing is to be present, totally involved in the intricacies of our lives, and pay attention. In doing so, we are demonstrating kindness toward both ourselves and the innately alive essence that permeates everything.
This fusion of appreciation and awareness makes us completely aware of reality and makes us happy. Our sensation of delight grows even more when we extend our attention and appreciation to our surroundings and other people.
The Exercise of Calmness
By exercising lovingkindness, compassion, and joy, we are practicing expanding our thoughts and being as open-hearted as we can. We are practicing equanimity, which is an impartial condition.
The other three are constrained by our propensity for liking and hating, accepting and rejecting, without this fourth limitless feature.
Equanimity training is learning to welcome all creatures and to open the door to life. Of course, we’ll experience dread and aversion when certain people come.
We let ourselves to open the door a little bit if that’s all we can manage right now, and we permit ourselves to close the door when it’s necessary. Equanimity cultivation is a work in progress.
We desire to spend our whole lives cultivating the loving-kindness and bravery necessary to accept whatever arises, including illness, good health, material abundance, poverty, sadness, and pleasure. We warmly greet everyone and get to know them.
Greater than our typical, constrained vision is equanimity. The expansive mind is what prevents reality from being reduced to for or against, liking or hating.
We may officially train in developing equanimity by engaging in the following three steps after touching in with the location where we experience it: “May I live in the ultimate tranquility, free from ardor, arousal, and prejudice.
May you live in supreme calm, free from rage, anger, and bias. May there be tremendous tranquility among all creatures, free from emotion, hostility, and prejudice.
You should always use your own language. It is also possible to divide the aspirant’s practice of equanimity into seven phases. Before and after this exercise, engage in some sitting meditation.
In order to cultivate calmness, we train ourselves to stop ourselves when we experience attraction or aversion before it turns into negativity or clutching.
In order to connect with other people’s perplexities, we practice sticking with the soft area and using our prejudices as stepping stones. Strong emotions are helpful in this situation.
No matter how painful it may seem, whatever happens, may be utilized to strengthen our bonds with others who share our aggressiveness or craving—who, like us, are drawn in by hope and fear.
We learn to respect the fact that we are all in the same boat in this way. We all need to have a deeper understanding of what causes pleasure and what causes suffering.
Even after years of experience, it is simple to continue to get indignant and angry. But if we can get in touch with the rawness and vulnerability of anger, resentment, or whatever it is, a greater picture may start to take shape.
We are practicing equanimity and thinking beyond good and evil when we decide to remain with the energy rather than acting it out or suppressing it.
The four unlimited qualities—love, compassion, joy, and equanimity—evolve from being restricted to being boundless in this way: we train in recognizing when our mind becomes fixated on certain viewpoints and work to soften them. The walls are broken down through softening.
Become What You Are
Learning to unwind where you are can help you cultivate the four unbounded virtues of love, compassion, joy, and serenity. There is nothing wrong with where you are at this moment. It is a good place to start even if you only have loving-kindness and compassion for one sentient being.
The warmth may simply be acknowledged, respected, and appreciated, which will help it to spread. While being open to the prospect of expanding much beyond where we are right now throughout the course of our lifetimes, we can remain where we are.
Growth never results through pushing, pressing, or straining. It takes a combination of learning to be at ease in your current situation and remaining open to the possibility that your capacity, mine, and the capacity of all beings is limitless.
Our openness grows as we remain at ease in our current location. This is what a human being is capable of. This is the blessing of being born as a person.
When we pray, “May I be happy,” “May I be free from suffering,” or “May everyone be happy and free from suffering,” we are expressing our belief that humans have the capacity to open their hearts and show limitless compassion.
It all begins with love or compassion for oneself. When it achieves the full human potential for connecting with love and compassion, which is boundless, free-flowing warmth—dynamic, living, linked energy with no reference point—it may expand to embrace more and more creatures.
Connecting with the real condition of circumstances is within the realm of human capacity. It starts with where we are right now.