For 24 weeks (and counting) my teacher has been lecturing on a chapter on Patience, from “The Way of the Bodhisattva” by Shantideva.
It always amazes me how he can speak on one or two lines in a text for over an hour — and, for weeks and weeks on end…
Patience is the practice of peace, so I suppose it could go on forever…:)
As we study Buddhism, we learn in detail how the mind works, and how previous conditioning and tendencies cause our suffering.
As we learn to take a step back and consider consequences before we act, it helps us to see that nothing is happening from outside of us, and that we have power over our actions and what happens next.
We all have a dominant emotion that has a very short fuse. When we are put in a situation that is ripe for it to manifest, our tendency is to react before thinking. For some that emotion is anger, for others: passion, yet others: jealousy…for me it is, and always has been: fear…
The past few weeks I have faced some realities that have caused a ‘fight or flight’ response in me, and the resulting tension in my body. Since I know that there is no physical or emotional threat ‘out there’ — no ‘tiger’ about to jump and have me for breakfast — I have been able to work through the process in my mind — however, I have still had to live through the effects in my body.
We have some conditioning that is so strong that even knowing the reasons, and being able to step back, it will take continuous awareness and effort. But, they will become less and less frequent, and less powerful in time, and…finally disappear.
Understanding and working with this process has been extremely helpful, and I think I can safely state that all of us who have had the benefit of Mind Training can attests to it totally changing our lives for the better.
My teacher always says we only have 2 problems in this world: wrong views and afflicted emotions. Due to our karma (action and consequence) we have conditioning that gives us the tendency to repeat, but we have the power to ‘cut’ off those tendencies, and put new causes in place for the effects we want to experience…
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to create something from nothing — all we have to do remove the veils that cover our true nature.
I am grateful each and every day for the wisdom and compassion of my teacher, for his teacher, and for our lineage root master: Kunchen Dolpopa.
om mani peme hum