If we see others in trouble, although we cannot immediately take their suffering upon ourselves, we should make the wish to be able to relieve them from their misfortunes. Prayers like this will bear fruit eventually. Again, if others have very strong afflictive emotions, we should think, ‘May all their emotions be concentrated in me.’ With fervent conviction, we should persist in thinking like this until we have some sign or feeling that we have been able to take upon ourselves the suffering and emotions of others. This might take the form of an increase in our own emotions or of the actual experience of the suffering and pain of others.
This is how to bring hardships onto the path in order to free ourselves from hopes and fears – hopes, for instance, that we will not get ill, or fears that we might do so. They will thus be pacified in the equal taste of happiness and suffering. Eventually, through the power of bodhicitta, we will reach the point where we are free even from the hope of accomplishing bodhicitta and the fear of not doing so. Therefore we should have love for our enemies and try as much as possible to avoid getting angry with them, or harbouring any negative thoughts towards them. We should also try as much as possible to overcome our biased attachment to family and relatives. If you bind a crooked tree to a large wooden stake, it will eventually grow straight. Up to now, our minds have always been crooked, thinking how we might trick and mislead people, but this [bodichitta] practice, as Geshe Langri Tangpa said, will make our minds straight and true.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Enlightened Courage: An Explanation of the Seven-Point Mind Training
translated by Padmakara Translation Group
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Further quotes from the book Enlightened Courage:
- Honest examination
- The vows of the Mind Training
- Give up hoping for results
- The three essential factors on which the accomplishment of the Dharma depends
- Taking advantage of suffering
- Antidote to our ego-clinging
- Anger is an illusion
- The impurity of our perception
- Signs of realization
- Begin the training sequence with yourself
- Well rewarded
- Forsaking all self-centeredness
- The degree of self-clinging
- Failing to use the instructions as an antidote
- Precious human birth
- Transient precious human body
- How to make the mind positive