A balanced mind

27 December 2010 - 4:52pm Comments Off

Balance is the key to life

Dharma does not make us suffer. The fluctuations in our minds make us suffer

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche

When we work in a Dharma centre, whether it is cleaning the prayer hall, taking out rubbish bins, making water offerings, helping to lay out the cushions or raising funds, we may sometimes feel unhappy and complain. “The work is tough and lowly”, “I am unappreciated”, “people criticise me”, etc. – where are these frustrations and unhappiness coming from? Virtue is derived from doing Dharma work, which is work that benefits others. Virtuous actions are the causes of happiness. Hence, if we sincerely engage in work with a correct Dharma motivation, we will not experience suffering.

If we engage in any activity with the worldly concern for reputation, praise or personal gain, it will only lead to dissatisfaction. Even if there is some immediate gratification, the happiness will be short-lived.

Another factor is our lack of equanimity – a mind that is balanced. A properly balanced wheel will spin smoothly without wobbling. If our mind is unbalanced, we will constantly experience the stress of being pushed and pulled by our afflictive emotions. When we see things or people we like, we will be pulled towards it. When it is the opposite, we push them away.

We should develop equanimity by respecting that everyone is just like us, wishing for happiness and not wanting suffering.

We should treat everyone as important as ourselves. We need others to practise, to be happy. The cultivation of bodhicitta, the cause of Buddhahood depends upon others. It is for the sake of all living beings that motivates us to enter the path. Everything we possess is due to the kindness of others. Even though we may have earned some money and do not depend on others for help, it was others who employed us and gave us a salary.

In our daily activities, whether it is at home, in our office or in a Dharma centre, we should always maintain a mind of equanimity. Without self-cherishing agenda, we will find more joy in whatever we are doing. This will open our heart to develop pure love and compassion, the antidotes to suffering.

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