In Eight Steps to Happiness Geshe-la says "'Self' and 'other' are relative terms, rather like 'this mountain' and 'that mountain ... 'This' and 'that' therefore depend upon our point of reference. This is also true of self and other. By climbing down the mountain of self, it is possible to ascend the mountain of other, and thereby cherish others as much as we presently cherish ourself."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Self-Cherishing as a Spy

Self-cherishing is like a spy in that we think it's working for us, when actually it's working for our worst enemy.
A spy is extremely deceptive, taking on an assumed identity.
Or a double-agent. As is a common plot in thrillers, there is suspicion that there's a mole within a spy agency, and the hero has to determine the truth. We are that hero. It's hard to detect a spy unless you do a lot of investigating, with "intelligence" (wisdom). Once you discover a spy, you want to root it out.

As Geshe-la says about self-grasping in Meaningful to Behold, in the section Delusions Bring Infinite Suffering:
If there is a group of people and one amongst them is subversive, when the other members realize who he is and what he is up to, they will waste no time in expelling him. Similarly, if we recognize the root delusion of self-grasping for that it is - our most dangerous enemy - we shall make every possible effort to eradicate it from our mind. It is not right to be complacent with such an enemy in our midst.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cherishing Others -> Less Grasping

Hello. Yes, it has been a while - but except for a week in January when I was sick, not because of any health problems - just been busy with other projects. There's no shortage of material. So I will wade back in again, with a short post.

This is probably perfectly obvious to all of you, and I knew it to a small degree, but the connection between cherishing others and grasping less struck me strongly last night. I was reflecting on how I'd spent my day and trying to assess what was beneficial, what was less so. There was a situation where I'd talked to a friend to gain wisdom about an area I didn't know much about, so that I could pass it along to another friend (as she knew I was going to do). Had there been tension in my mind? Unhappiness? Frustration? etc. I couldn't detect very much, and it occurred to me that I was more relaxed about it than I might have been if the conversation had been about me. Of course, there's still grasping - at my friends, at the situation, and so so. But because I'd largely taken myself out of the picture, there was less grasping.

What a relief! I look forward to experiencing more and more of that in the future, until I am completely released and then can release others.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prayer Request for a Different Paul

Please keep Paul from Long Island in your prayers.

Great News about Paul A.

I am so happy to pass along this excellent news about Paul, the Resident Teacher in Edinburgh and the former cook for Tharpaland Retreat Centre. It's amazing!
Thank you all so much for your prayers. As you can see, they definitely work, sometimes very quickly.

"Some of you will already know but I thought you might like a synopsis of the results Paul got from the surgeon yesterday.  Basically it is the best news possible (though as you know with cancer it is many years before they give you the full all clear). The surgeon was very pleased. He stressed that the cancer had been very large at 5 cm, but that they had successfully removed it and hadn't found any nodules on his lungs. They did x-rays yesterday and his lungs are fully re-inflated and in their view everything is okay. They are not going to give him  chemotherapy. So that is that!!  As is normal he is to return for 3 monthly check ups for the next while.

Now he waits to hear from the doctor who is dealing with his brain tumour to find out what, if anything, more they intend to do. He is down to 2 mg of steroids a day. And he is slowly regaining some strength and energy. We are on midterm break right now but he has been teaching FP and GP in the centre and going out for regular walks."