As truth-seeker house-holders, we have to be skilful in our endeavour to understand our true reality. Friends and relatives who are not so inclined will find this difficult to deal with. When we decide to change our view of life while others haven’t, they will see something that makes them feel uncomfortable, and even hostile.
If we try to explain how we feel, and our understanding is incomplete, we will be vulnerable to criticism. This criticism can be very subtle: we sense a slight backing off by others, as this type of enquiry makes them feel uneasy. It’s to be expected – but at the same time, there will be a recognition in them, and that is what is making them feel uncomfortable. When we are used toh darkness, light can seem a bit blinding. Understanding this is compassion.
So we need skilful perseverance to accomplish our aim. That aim is to understand and realise how the mind works. We talk about compassion, but compassion is challenging in adverse circumstances. The deeper we go, the more we pick up on subtle hostilities.
We just want to love – but maybe we are a bit too enthusiastic, when others are not ready for it 😀 Put it this way, we try too hard! And we might get the reaction, “Oh! You think you are better than the rest of us!” That is merely a defensive ego talking. Ego is just awareness clinging to ideas it has acquired – we’ve all been there, and done that. Recognising and understanding that is the point of compassion. People need time; we needed time to adjust to real knowledge. We didn’t ‘get it’ straight away, did we?
Once we decide that there is real truth, then that is not the time to wobble! How can we help others unless we stand firm in our conviction, and maintain the courage of confidence? People are going astray all over the place because there are not many around them who show strength in their realisation and conduct. Of course, we’re still open to positive advice, as we are not yet fully enlightened.
Genuine, silent compassion opens up the atmosphere. This is not a ‘wet’ attitude; it is vajra – the unbreakable, diamond path. The path of a Bodhisattva.
The Bodhisattva Vow
Just as the earth and the other three elements, together with space,
eternally nourish and sustain all beings,
So may I become that source of nourishment and sustenance which
maintains all beings situated throughout space, as long as all have
not attained peace.
When the Sugatas of former times committed themselves to the
Bodhicitta, they gradually established themselves in the practice of
So I too commit myself to the Bodhicitta for the welfare of beings
and will gradually establish myself in the practice of a Bodhisattva.
Today my birth has become fruitful; my birth as a human is justified.
Today I an born in the Buddha family; I am now a child of the Buddha.
Now I am determined to perform those acts appropriate to my family;
I will not violate the purity of this faultless noble family.
Just as a blind man wandering about comes upon a jewel in a heap
of refuse, so apparently by chance, the Bodhicitta is born in me.
That supreme amrita destroying death.
The inexhaustible hidden treasure relieving the universal poverty.
The supreme cure for calming the universal ill.
The tree which shelters beings weary of wandering the paths of samsara.
The vehicle for all travellers passing over distress.
The moon of mind which cools the heat of desire.
The great sun dispelling the obscurity of ignorance.
The butter made from churning the milk of the Dharma.
The great happiness for those travellers wandering the path of samara
searching for objects of enjoyment.
In the presence of all the Buddhas, I have invited all the Tathagatas
and all beings as my guests.
Devas and Asuras rejoice.