Change: Becoming Different
Change occurs through the realisation that we’re not what we think – and we’re not what others think of us either.
As long as we fixate about ourselves, we will never change. People enter the Dharma and do exotic practices; they meditate and learn a new vocabulary, but still don’t change. Compassion has become passive, while empathy is practical. We are still, in fact, narcissistic people, having an excessive interest in and admiration of ourself and how we appear to others.
Om Mani Peme Hum is a mantra of compassion, but it isn’t something that we can wave in the air like prayer flags, with the vague hope that it does something. Empathy is the practical side of Om Mani Peme Hum: it means generosity, patience, morality, discipline, concentration and, above all, transcendent wisdom.
This is the means by which change occurs.
Change isn’t being different. It’s more of a dropping away of self-cherishing. We function in life as normal, but we aren’t so attached. Real change reveals itself in empathy. It doesn’t matter how clever we think we are, empathy is genuine interest in others and how their thinking came about.
It means not ignoring.
When we realise why others cannot change,
we are no longer frustrated by them.
We understand, but we don’t ignore.