The Altruistic Attitude.
Whether we progress or not, spiritually, will depend on our motivation. This of course is true of everything we do.
Having the correct attitude of, “May I rid myself of all ego-orientated negativity such as attachment, aggression and stupidity, for the benefit of all sentient beings,” together with, “May whatever merit I have accumulated be of benefit to all sentient beings,” will protect our practice and safeguard our journey. This is called the Bodhicitta attitude.
Of course, we are not enlightened yet – but we can act that way. Put it this way: we are acting anyway, so why not act with an altruistic attitude? Acting in this way safeguards us from selfishness, and moves us towards compassion. And that will be challenging!
We have been acting (reacting) for a very long time …for countless life-times! Because of our ego-orientated-self-centred clinging to ideas and fixated concepts about ourself, we act out on the world stage. Of course, the world doesn’t help as it too is acting out…and acting up as well! We all run around, blaming everyone else, and trying to show ourselves in a ‘good’ light. It’s called righteous anger. We have written our own script and damn anyone who contradicts us!
We hear many who say, “I do not need a path or system. I am my own master, and everything I need to know is within me.” Pity! With that attitude, one will go on acting selfishly, holding even stronger concepts about oneself.
We are our own masters, but we also need clarity, knowledge, wisdom, empathy, love and compassion…for the benefit of others. Having compassion to benefit others means that we are devoted to them…and not ourselves. This is very challenging!
Our greatest teacher is our own reaction in our own minds. This is the mirror of our behaviour. As a painter, my greatest teacher is the mirror, as it bypasses my habitual concepts and allows me to see things from a different viewpoint: it shows all that is out of harmony.
To establish every single being, in numbers vast as space,
In the state of enlightenment,
I will realise the self-knowing awareness, the Dharmakaya,
Through the instruction of Dzogpa Chenpo.