Friday, September 12, 2008


With the wish to free all beings
I will always go for refuge
To Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
Until I reach Highest Enlightenment.

Enthused by compassion and wisdom
Today in Buddha's presence
I generate the mind of compassion
For the benefit of all sentient beings.

For as long as space remains
And as long as sentient beings remain
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the suffering of all beings.

~ Shantideva

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Time to Get Up.....

Pema Chödrön: The question is how to help people, no matter how desperate their lives are, to realize that they are worthy to live on this earth, that they do not have to feel inferior or be ashamed of themselves. And the question is how to help people to get smarter about what causes suffering to increase and what causes it to decrease.

There is a famous saying that from great suffering comes great compassion. Well, from great suffering can come great compassion, or from great suffering can come great hatred. Maybe someone like you could really work on that message right there. From great suffering can come great openness of heart, a great sense of kinship with others, or from great suffering can come hatred, resentment and despair.

bell hooks: But it isn't an automatic thing. It isn't because you suffer that you will have compassion. In the past people have felt that this is some kind of reward for your suffering, that you will have compassion.

Pema Chödrön: People need a lot of support for suffering to turn into compassion. What usually happens to people when they don't have teachers and guides and the support of people who care is that great suffering leads to more suffering. You have mothers who don't have the money to care for their kids and on top of that they get completely lost in drugs, not to mention that their kids are getting into deep trouble. So the nightmare escalates and escalates.

The fundamental question is not whether there is or isn't suffering. It is how we work with suffering so that it leads to awakening the heart and going beyond the habitual views and actions that perpetuate suffering. How do we actually use suffering so that it transforms our being and that of those that we come in contact with? How can we stop running from pain and reacting against it in ways that destroy us as well as others? This is a message that people can hear, but they have to hear it a lot, and with great heart, and from people who really care, not from somebody who is just passing through to make a few dollars.

That's why I love the lojong teachings, because the lojong slogans are accessible. Basically, they teach how we can take difficult circumstances and transform them into the path of compassion. That's the kind of teaching we need these days, that difficult circumstances can be the path to liberation. That's news you can use.

Excerpt of an interview from Shambala Sun