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    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
Teksty w jezyku polskim     Deutsche Seiten

Quotations on:
Equanimity

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The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world.
Paul Farmer

Jeffrey Hopkins

The practice of equanimity is particularly helpful for nightmares. Of all the practices you could apply, it is most helpful and comforting, after you have awakened, to generate a sense of equanimity--the similarity of aim--between yourself and the dream-monster. In meditation, contemplate: "Just as I want happiness and don't want suffering, so that monster wants happiness and doesn't want suffering.
It might seem weird to reify your own dream objects into sentient beings, since they really do not exist except as figments of the imagination, but try to see the being as wanting happiness and not wanting suffering, as having been a friend, and, when a friend, having extended great kindness. Don't turn this into a test of the meditation. Don't think, "It's got to work on this, and if it doesn't, then the system doesn't work." Just try it, play with it a little. Experience is needed before these meditations will work across boundaries of feeling. But when they do work, you will feel the fear dissipate. We are seeking to disempower a complex that appears as a dream-monster, and the power of equanimity dissolves the fear that empowers the monster. Even when you don't believe it, this technique works. In meditation, contemplate: "This nightmare-spider, like me, wants happiness and does not want suffering; so may this nightmare-spider have happiness and be free from suffering."!
Let's consider nightmarish figures such as Hitler and Stalin who have appeared in the world.... It helps to think that such powerfully bad persons--or ourselves when we get angry and do nasty things--have fallen out of recognition that other people want happiness and don't want suffering. From this understanding there arises a closeness with those under the influence of strong afflictive emotions.
If you familiarize yourself for a considerable period with these meditations that utilize horrific situations for increasing equanimity, reflecting on many individual people, gradually your sense of equanimity, an even-mindedness, will extend to anyone who appears.
A Truthful Heart: Buddhist Practices for Connecting with Others

It's interesting how we freeze our view of particular people. We exaggerate certain aspects we see in others, thereby freezing them into narrow, unproductive categories of relationships and limiting our ability to feel close and act out of a sense of intimacy. We lock them into certain patterns of behavior, and then, because we see these attitudes as solid, influence others to stay in those patterns: "This person is just..." But when you think and feel, "Two lifetimes ago this person was my best friend," the possibilities with that person now in this life open up. Consider a coworker, a colleague, a fellow student; you don't have to think about her in just the limited way that you have been. "She was a great friend in the past. I doubt she's going to be my best friend in this lifetime, but there's no reason to have frozen her into the particular mind-set I found myself in yesterday." All sorts of possibilities open up.
Here in this meditation of recognizing others as having been our best friend, we are loosening that process by superimposing the "best friend" feeling on lesser ones. We're becoming much more flexible. The practice reveals a plenitude of possibilities with others. What would it be like for these people if we acted this way with them, not externally but internally? If, when we saw them, we had an internal feeling of such strong intimacy--if we had an internal feeling of, "Oh, I'm meeting with my best of friends"--how do you think this would affect others? What would happen if we inwardly treated strangers in stores as best of friends? There would be a greater warmth and a considerable amount of extra, flexible energy available both to us and the world.
A Truthful Heart: Buddhist Practices for Connecting with Others

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

All sentient beings are exactly the same in that every one desires happiness and seeks to avoid misery. We are not isolated entities disconnected from each other. The happiness and suffering of other beings affect us. This mutual relation is obvious. Sentient beings have been kind and have benefited us directly and indirectly throughout beginningless time. These beings are intrinsically the same as us in their pursuit of happiness and effort to avoid suffering. Thus, it is essentially logical for us to train in cultivating an impartial attitude wishing for the happiness of all beings.
Stages of Meditation


Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the Day

Considering others to be just the same as yourself helps you to open up your relationships and give them a new and richer meaning. Imagine If societies and nations began to view one another in the same way; at last we would have the beginnings of a solid basis for peace on earth, and the happy coexistence of all peoples.

One powerful way to evoke compassion is to think of others as exactly the same as you. “After all,” the Dalai Lama explains, “all human beings are the same—made of human flesh, bones, and blood. We all want happiness and want to avoid suffering. Further, we have an equal right to be happy. In other words, it is important to realize our sameness as human beings.”

Visualize someone to whom you feel very close, particularly someone who is suffering and in pain. As you breathe in, imagine you take in all their suffering and pain with compassion, and as you breathe out, send your warmth, healing, love, joy, and happiness streaming out to them.
Now, gradually widen the circle of your compassion to embrace first other people to whom you also feel very close, then to those about whom you feel indifferent, then to those whom you dislike or have difficulty with, then even to those whom you feel are actively monstrous and cruel. Allow your compassion to become universal, and to enfold in its embrace all sentient beings, and all beings, in fact, without any exception.

Imagine that you are having difficulties with a loved one, such as your mother or father, husband or wife, lover or friend. How helpful and revealing it can be to consider the other person not in his or her “role” of mother or father or husband, but simply as another “you,” another human being, with the same feelings as you, the same desire for happiness, the same fear of suffering. Thinking of the other one as a real person, exactly the same as you, will open your heart to him or her and give you more insight into how to help.

When someone is suffering and you find yourself at a loss to know how to help, put yourself unflinchingly in his or her place. Imagine as vividly as possible what you would be going through if you were suffering the same pain. Ask yourself: “How would I feel? How would I want my friends to treat me? What would I most want from them?”
When you exchange yourself for others in this way, you are directly transferring your cherishing from its usual object, yourself, to other beings. So exchanging yourself for others is a very powerful way of loosening the hold on you of the self-cherishing and the self-grasping of ego, and so of releasing the heart of your compassion.


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Last updated: September 5, 2009