Three attitudes prevent us from receiving a continual flow of blessings. They are compared to three “pots”: a full pot, a pot with poison in it, and a pot with a hole in the bottom.
The pot that’s filled to the brim is like a mind full of opinions and preconceptions. We already know it all. We have so many fixed ideas that nothing new can affect us or cause us to question our assumptions.
The pot containing poison is like a mind that’s so cynical, critical, and judgmental that everything is poisoned by this harshness. It allows for no openness and no willingness to explore the teachings or anything else that challenges our righteous stance.
The pot with a hole is like a distracted mind: our body is present but we’re lost in thought. We’re so busy thinking about our dream vacation or what’s for dinner that we’re completely deaf to what’s being said.
Knowing how sad it is to receive blessings and not be able to benefit, Shantideva wants to save himself grief by remaining open and attentive. Nothing will improve, he says, unless we become more intelligent about cause and effect. This is a message worth considering seriously.
from the book No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Pema Chödron.
Further quotes from the book No Time to Lose:
- Our true nature
- Heroic perseverance
- Our capacity for love and tenderness
- The cause of our enlightenment
- Connect with Groundlessness
- Three bite practice
- Benefits of pain
- Our pain is self-inflicted
- Any Encounter Offers Us a Choice
- Our Mistaken Feeling of Separateness