Don’t Just Do Something.
we realize the harm caused by our delusions, such as the damage done to
and others when we act out of anger, we still fall under their
Thus an untamed mind throws us recklessly into the abyss instead of
when it sees the edge.”
The Dalai Lama, The Way of Freedom
The more we try to bend circumstances to our will, the more complicated
becomes. When we live in the delusion of separateness, we feel the need
get more things and privileges for ourselves and for those we identify
When we believe in separateness, we have enemies. Having enemies, we
trust. Not trusting, we need to protect ourselves. In order to protect
we develop defenses. Our defenses are imperfect, so they give us
Being defended and cut off from other people and their resources, we
lack. Feeling lack, we desire more things. In order to get them in a
of enemies, we step on other people. They dislike us for that. They
our sense of separateness. The circle of fear draws us into increasing
and inclination to harm others.
When we realize that our separateness from other people is
illusion, our hearts open up. When we feel connected, we want to help.
When the needs of the other person are as important to us as our own
needs, we naturally act more responsibly. We share what we have and we
generate goodwill. When we refuse to see others as enemies, we are
inclined to make them our friends. When we have made friends, they
share as we share. Good things come to us without grasping for them.
When we know ourselves and understand our neighbors, we can learn
trust. Then we can put less energy into defenses.
When we truly know ourselves, we can see the causes of our
suffering. When we recognize that our ignorance, anger and craving
cause our suffering, we loosen our grip. We desire wisdom, compassion
and non-attachment. When we attain these, we are less ensnared in the
pain of delusion. To know ourselves, we must be quiet and listen. We
must observe the workings of our mind.
Drop urges to create harm, knowing they are unproductive and
harmful to you and every living being. Precede action with reflection.
Practice sitting quietly. Still the buzzing brain/mind, so you can hear
the stirrings of your heart/mind. Watch for turbulent emotions, and
breathe in peace with each breath
to settle them. Practice opening your heart to those you would consider
Imagine what might pain them. Send thoughts of love there.
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© 2002 Tom Barrett