Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dharma Quote - Jeffrey Hopkins

Dharma Quote of the Week from Snow Lion Publications.

We usually discriminate strongly between someone who intends to harm us and someone who doesn't. We think, "That's all right; he didn't mean it"; or the person who has harmed us can say, "Why do you blame me so much? I didn't mean to." But we get really angry when we know people mean to harm us. How could we possibly see such people as intimate, close, dear--as dear as our best of friends?

If you can retain a little compassion when people harm you unintentionally, you have made progress. But if you retain it when someone intends to harm you, you are really successful. It's not that you think, "This person is marvelous; she's trying to rob me," but you don't take these facts as reasons for hating the person. You recognize the intention and put your wallet in your front pocket. You take such measures, but the conditions that prompted them no longer serve as reasons for hatred.

Our wish to love everyone and the actual attitudes we have under pressure are in constant conflict. That's just the way we are. We've been wandering in cyclic existence since beginningless time, because of desire and hatred, and it's going to take a lot of familiarization to change this. Be relaxed about it. Don't put pressure on yourself, thinking things like, "Oh, I'm a scumbag because I hate so deeply." Rather, try this attitude: "I have to admit it. As much as my ideals say I should love so-and-so--or at least be neutral--I have to face the fact that I don't." Go easy on yourself.

~ From A Truthful Heart: Buddhist Practices for Connecting with Others by Jeffrey Hopkins, foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, published by Snow Lion Publications

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