Friday, March 04, 2011

B. Alan Wallace - The real source of my suffering is self-centeredness

by B. Alan Wallace
edited by Zara Houshmand


Dharma Quote of the Week

The real source of my suffering is self-centeredness: my car, my possession, my well-being. Without the self-centeredness, the suffering would not arise. What would happen instead? It is important to imagine this fully and to focus on examples of your own. Think of some misfortune that makes you want to lash out, that gives rise to anger or misery. Then imagine how you might respond without suffering. Recognize that we need not experience the misery, let alone the anger, resentment, and hostility. The choice is ours.

Let's continue with an example. You see that there is a dent in the car. What needs to be done? Get the other driver's license number, notify the police, contact the insurance agency, deal with all the details. Simply do it and accept it. Accept it gladly as a way to strengthen your mind further, to develop patience and the armor of forbearance. There is no way to become a Buddha and remain a vulnerable wimp.

Patience does not suddenly appear as a bonus after full enlightenment. Part of the whole process of awakening is to develop greater forbearance and equanimity in adversity. Santideva, in the sixth chapter of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, eloquently points out that there is no way to develop patience without encountering adversity, and patience is indispensable for our own growth on the path to awakening. (p.66)

--from The Seven-Point Mind Training by B. Alan Wallace, edited by Zara Houshmand, published by Snow Lion Publications

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