Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Raging thoughts like turbulent waves

Sometimes it's so hard to contain negative emotions. The world seems to crush down ever so often. We have been taught that all these negative thoughts of persons/events that upset us are all due to our own mind. Everything is caused by us, no one else. Yes, that I know. But it's the 'tuning' of our mind that is the most difficult. So hard to overcome it. It is our (lack of) ability to transform our mind. We meditate on it. We go for retreats. We (try to) think happy thoughts. We even go (window) shopping to distract ourselves sometimes.  

It's unbelievable that it is often the ones closest to us that can cause us so much unhappiness, sadness and grief. Or, is it? It is precisely our craving for the attention and love and support from those we deem as 'loved ones' that make us miserable. Having expectations - expecting everything to have a reciprocal action, be it something tangible or intangible - cause us to be so unhappy. But I guess this is natural. This is samsara, the very bane of our cyclic existence.

Not too long ago, I received an encouraging note from a friend. It was so touchingly written. I felt so happy. But in the next moment, within a span of 24 hours, a misunderstanding occurred, just before friend's birthday. It took me two weeks to get over it.  Another incident in the past, I think I took 3 years to get over it.  It makes me feel very fragile - that life is so unpredictable. There are so many issues to grapple with and to overcome in order to control and manage our monkey mind.

All these incidents happened ever so often. In a way, it got me thinking.... how the very closest to me are actually not that close. Instead, those not so close friends, acquaintances and even strangers seem to treat me even better at times.  With Dharma practice, I seem to contemplate alot more than I used to. Last night, I even tweeted, "Sometimes I wonder why I can see through everything so clearly. But how nice if everything remains in a veil of delusion?".  Sometimes the truth is so hard to accept. But as I keep mentioning recently, ripening of obstacles may not be all bad. It is in fact, good news.  
This morning, I received an email from a Dharma brother. He has sent me a Groupon voucher for a meal. It is an advance birthday gift. What a pleasant surprise.  Although we do not meet often, we do share our views of Buddhism and stuff. However it is still a surprise he remembered. While I pay extra attention in choosing and lavishing gifts on those I love, nowadays I seem to receive many little gifts from the people I least expected instead.  It is a funny world.

For now, I have decided to create an album in my Facebook, called The Gratitude Box, where I will post photos of all the gifts I have received from anyone, big or small. It is not so much of showing off or placing emphasis on material stuff, but rather, I hope in a way, it will help me be grounded and be reminded of the kindness of everyone I meet.  I should learn to treat those who treat me well with extra respect, and for those who didn't, I should not dwell too much over the lack of. And I know I have the blessings of the Buddhas and protectors who watch over me. I need to study and practice harder.

Garchen Rinpoche said, 
"The cause of all suffering is the self-centered mind, and all the negative emotions. When you recognize this, your faults will be exhausted.When you recognize that the only cause of happiness is a pure and loving mind, your qualities will increase like the waxing moon." 

"An intellectual understanding is already a great merit. However, an intellectual understanding will not dispel the root of our suffering, our negative emotions. It certainly helps, but in order to truly pass beyond suffering, we must practice, gain a living experience. When we gain a personal experience, we will directly see how love is so precious. Knowing this, based on experiencing it directly, one will not let go of it at any cost. Not letting go of love, we will habituate to it to the point when it becomes effortless and always remains naturally. Then we have created perfect peace and happiness and have finally passed beyond suffering."

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