We all get the same kind of satisfaction when we are sitting around a table talking about Mortimer's bad breath. Not only that, he has dandruff, and not only that, he laughs funny, and not only that, he's stupid. There is a peculiar security we get out of talking about other people's defects. Sometimes we sugarcoat it and pretend we're not really doing it. We say something like "Hi there. Did you know Juanita steals?" Then we say "Oh no, I shouldn't have said that. Excuse me, that was really unkind for me to say that, and I won't say any more." We'd love to go on and on, but instead we say just enough to get people against Juanita but not enough for them to disapprove of us for slandering her.
From Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron, Copyright 1994, Shambhala Publications.
Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.
This site provides an on-line database of commentaries on the Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices of lojong (Mind Training) and tonglen.