The Foundations of the Spiritual Path - 5/6

Acting in the same way as the Buddha, we abandon all thoughts of self-satisfaction, all personal concerns, in order to devote ourselves completely to benefiting others.
All favourable circumstances, success, or good reputation that we may enjoy are dedicated entirely to being useful for others. Conversely when setbacks, problems or obstacles arise, we take these difficulties upon ourselves. In this way we are certain to realise perfect buddha nature. Otherwise we remain immature and ignorant, continuing to act under the sway of the egocentric attitude whilst ignoring the possibility of acting beneficially for others.

Our only concern is to be greater, richer and more powerful. We try to preserve a good reputation by attracting pleasant situations and success towards us whilst endeavouring to make others put up with all the difficulties that arise. We give up any inclination of working for the benefit of others, our only preoccupation being in preserving what is beneficial for us.

 

If anyone gets in the way of our interests we do not hesitate to cause them injury or harm. This type of attitude serves only to reproduce the causes of cyclic existence and all of its suffering.

Therefore, whatever we are doing, the mind should never stray from the basic qualities of loving kindness and compassion. Loving kindness is the wish that all beings be established in a state of permanent, definitive happiness. Compassion is the wish that all beings be freed from suffering and the actions which create suffering.

We should always question what goes on in our mind and be able to analyse our motivations in every situation. Is our underlying motive really to be of help to beings or are we not simply trying to gain some personal satisfaction through them? It is important to question ourselves in this way otherwise we run the risk of cheating ourselves, believing that we have a positive attitude and thinking that we are acting beneficially when in fact we are driven by egotistical concerns.

 

Carrying out a thorough investigation of our true motivations with an unbiased mind is essential before undertaking any action.

(English translation of an extract from the book
'Mahamoudra', éditions J C Lattès)

 

 

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